Quick and Easy Natural Remedies for Depression


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 20-11-2015

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depression 3


When you are feeling down, it might be because something awful has happened in your life, or it might just be that you are bored. So, how about getting out there and taking up a hobby? Think of all the things you love to do and choose one or two of them to do on a regular basis. If you can’t think of anything, then why not try something completely new and different? You’d be surprised at what you might end up liking! Don’t limit yourself to certain things though, keep your mind open and go for something unusual or something that you would never have thought of yourself as doing. Whatever it is might just be the answer you’ve been looking for, and you’ll never know till you try it. You might even make some new friends while doing your new hobby!

    matchitecture set                wool felting set


Doctors are quick to give medication for depression and other problems, when medication is not necessarily the answer, and it definitely isn’t the first line of action in any case. Why take medication when you can get similar results from fairly simple changes in your life, along with some simple dietary rules that aren’t THAT difficult to follow. If you go to the doctor for something like depression or any other kind of anxiety disorder, don’t be quick to jump on the chemical medication bandwagon. Wait for a while and take your cash in hand. There is almost no time when this ordeal happens that medication is a good answer. So, leave that market to the hucksters and others, but in order to keep your good health at a maximum, pay attention to your own body, make sure that you take as few medications as possible, and stay as natural as you can.

 lemon balm herb  linden flowers herb  st johns wort

There are some natural alternatives to the chemical medications that conventional medicine prescribes for depression and other similar ailments. They act to relax, reduce the stress reaction, and calm the nerves, as well as to balance glands. These are herbs such as lemon balm, lemon verbena, linden flowers, chamomile, lavender, Siberian ginseng, valerian, fennel seed, mint, rose petals, licorice root, basil, gingko, rosemary, marjoram, and Saint John’s wort. These can be infused as a tea, with only a teaspoon of the dried herb for a half or whole liter of water in a thermos. You do not boil the herbs, but only the water, and then put the herbs in the hot water and cover it for 15 minutes or so, until a light colored tea has been gotten. Then you can drink that throughout the day. You can choose any one or more of these herbs, but whichever you choose, make sure that you still only use one teaspoon total of the herbs for your tea. It shouldn’t be too strong. Remember, as always, less is more.

     lavender oil   melissa oil     chamomile oil    jasmine oil    ylang ylang oil

Essential oils can also be used for the same purpose and they are basically the same as the herbs. Lavender is good, as is marjoram, basil, rose, lemon balm (Melissa), chamomile, neroli, patchouli, lemongrass, sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh, ylang ylang, rosemary, jasmine, clary sage, bergamot, geranium, orange, and grapefruit essential oils are all good for depression, so choose oils that you like the aroma of, and use them in oils (with just a few drops), inhale them, burn them (in oil burners to diffuse the aroma in your home), in the bath (a few drops in the very warm bath water), and some people even put a drop or two in their tea (although I don’t recommend this unless you are under the care of an aromatherapy professional).

It is important to remember though, that if you decide to try herbal teas or essential oils you can’t take chemical drugs along with them. While herbs and oils are generally extremely safe to use, you must still consider the fact that they are natural medications nonetheless, and will react in your body, so you mustn’t use the two together. Also, if you are under the care of a medical, psychiatric, and/or psychological professional, please make sure that you inform them of your desire to try going natural for your problems, and if you find that they are not very receptive to your wishes, then perhaps you would be better off finding another professional who is more receptive and willing to help you and work with you in your quest to become a healthier, happier person.


When you are depressed it is important to make sure that you are getting the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs, so make sure that you are taking a good multivitamin (preferably without iron). A good one on the market here is Stresstabs. They are very inexpensive and loaded with high levels of important vitamins and minerals. You might also want to take evening primrose oil or borage oil as well. I personally don’t like fish oil capsules, just because when they melt in my stomach they make me feel ill and I feel like I’m breathing fish (which isn’t pleasant), but if you don’t suffer from those problems then by all means, fish oil is another great supplement. And, if you have been tested and you know that you need a certain supplement, then you really need to make sure that you are getting it. If your iron is low, then take iron, or preferably get natural iron from eating good, wholesome foods with iron, such as liver, dark green leafy vegetables and the like. We mentioned food last week, but again, please remember that there is no replacement for a good diet. Keep away from the dairy products if you suffer from depression. Also, too many carbohydrates, particularly refined ones will keep you feeling lethargic and miserable, which will make you feel worse than before. Additionally, some research is pointing to the idea that for some people the diet they are eating is what is actually causing the depression in the first place, and that has been my own hypothesis all along. So, if you are suffering from depression, check your diet and lifestyle, make necessary changes, take supplements if you need them, change your attitude, drink herbal teas, use essential oils, and get happy!

(To be continued)

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com


Do You Suffer From Depression? Natural Ways to Deal with Depression


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 19-11-2015

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The widespread problem of depression is being talked about practically everywhere these days. Oprah is always talking about it, and so is Dr. Phil and others. There are literally hundreds and thousands of self help books out there on the market today based on peoples’ struggles with depression. Statistics show that around one million people commit suicide worldwide every single year, thousands (if not millions) more who tried but didn’t succeed, and many, many thousands, or probably millions, who are thinking about it or have thought about it. Most of those people began their quest for death with depression. In fact there are almost 20 million people a year, in the USA alone, with depressive disorders. Now THAT is scary!!! So, the big question is what can we do about it? The answer to that is A LOT! We can actually do a lot, and if you are someone who suffers from depression, then read on, because you are going to learn tools that can help you get over and out of your slump and back into life.

Let’s face it. Life is sometimes hard, and it isn’t going to get any better unless we take a different viewpoint. We have to begin looking at the glass as “half full” instead of “half empty”, or another famous saying that really sums it all up is, “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade”. Looking on the bright side may seem like an effort in the beginning, but it will become easier and easier as time goes on and soon you will be able to do it automatically without even thinking about it. It’s all just basically mind over matter.

depression cure book

Before we get into the mental aspects of the problem, let’s look first at the physical aspects. The first thing that you have to do is take an inventory of your diet. This is imperative, because no matter how much mental work you do, if your diet is a contributing factor in the problem, then you won’t feel completely better. Do an honest food diary for several days and analyze what you are eating. The ideal would be to have plenty of fresh vegetables, fresh healthy proteins, and a small amount of fresh fruit and whole grains. Keep away from things with artificial colors, flavors, and additives as much as possible. Try to stay away from tea and coffee and other toxins (like tobacco, etc) also. This change alone might be all you need!

Here is a book that will get you started on the proper anti-depression and good health diet that you need…

the primal blueprint

Proper sleep is extremely important, and if everything is right in your body, you will be able to sleep. The only time that will go wrong is when you turn your schedule around, for whatever reason, for example work hours, staying up regularly watching TV, chatting on the Internet, studying late hours, or whatever. The fact is that your body has an internal system of regulation and if something is not going well you have got to do something about it. Otherwise you’ll most likely be in for a host of diseases and other problems. The correct way to do this is to wake up early in the morning and stay up until whenever you go to bed at night (which shouldn’t be too late). The body thrives on the idea that the daylight hours will be your waking hours, and the dark hours should be your sleeping hours. You should also get enough sleep without getting too much, so try to make sure that you sleep at least 6 hours a day, preferably 8. Staying up all night at your friend’s house or sitting in the diwaniyah all night long isn’t good for your health. The bottom line is that your body was created to make sure that you don’t get into negative emotion, so don’t let yourself.

21 day primal

Exercise is a very important activity that you need to get involved in if you are trying to beat depression. Any kind of exercise will do, including walking, swimming, jogging, yoga, martial arts, aerobics, and more. Do what you enjoy, because you need to have an activity that you are going to stick with for the long term, and make sure that you have more than one choice, if possible, so that you don’t get bored.

get your shift together

Jog your funny bone. If you want to stop feeling depressed then you have to laugh. Even laughing when you don’t feel happy, when you feel miserable, when you are totally depressed will have a positive effect on you immediately. Even when you are feeling like a total fake, it is still working, so keep it up anyway. Scientifically it has been discovered that laughing and smiling actually releases some important hormones into the body that help to make us feel better. Also, it’s important to remember that you will feel and be what you think of, so make sure that you always visualize and think of good things. So, remember, if you are suffering from depression, don’t watch sad and depressing movies. Watch comedies only. Watch happy shows, read happy and uplifting stories and news, and try your best to have a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity. You’ll be surprised what a little “mind over matter” action will do for you! Don’t hang around with people who are negative, depressing, or mean. You don’t need to add to your problems, and they will just drag you down with them unless you are extremely careful.

the end of stress book

Try to keep stress to a minimum at all times. If something happens that wasn’t quite what you expected, don’t worry about it. If it’s something that you are capable of changing then great, but if it isn’t, big deal. Just accept the idea that situations and people are different, that not everyone likes the same things that we do, that things happen, and get on with it. There is no benefit whatsoever in whining about things you can’t do anything about. All that does is bring in more and more negativity, which is exactly the opposite of what you are supposed to be doing. You need to think positively, be positive, and put yourself in the best possible state of mind. It’s not that difficult to do, but it takes a little bit of time to get the hang of what is required to do to get there, particularly if it doesn’t come naturally to you. No matter what your life is like, you can always find someone who has more problems than you do, more illnesses than you have, and more stress. So, don’t look up to those who are doing better than you, but always look down at those who don’t have it as good as you. You can always find people who are better off than you, no matter how rich, how happy, or how whatever you are, but looking at people whose situations are worse than yours will help ground you and make you understand how lucky you really are. That alone will make you smile for real.

(to be continued)


Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

Quick and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Minor Hearing Problems


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 18-11-2015

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hearing problems

The next time you notice that you are saying “excuse me” or more likely “huh” to your friends too much because you can’t hear what they are saying, think about the idea that whatever you are suffering from might be something to look into and not a figment of your imagination. Don’t ignore it and let it slide, because minor ear problems can easily turn into something serious. Remember, you might have an infection and your ear is close to your brain! You don’t want whatever is bothering you to get in there do you? While an infection is one of the most serious of the possible problems, chances are it’s something much less frightening than that.

Hearing problems are commoner than you think. They can be caused by lots of different things, including loud noises (yes, turn the music down please), injury, infection, and more. Lot’s of people have hearing problems and most of these problems are quite easy to take care of. If you are having trouble hearing and the onset was sudden, then chances are that you have some wax buildup in your ear canal. Also, if you are suffering from itchiness, tinnitus (ringing in your ears), or dizziness, etc, those are also signs that you could possibly have wax buildup in your ears. This is something you can clear up fairly easily most of the time. And you must keep in mind that it is quite normal to have ear wax. If you didn’t have it your ear would end up being one unhealthy place! One of the reasons it is there is to protect your ear from invaders of the bacterial and viral type, to keep out the dirt, and also to act as a water-repellent. It’s just a problem when it is produced in an over abundance, which can sometimes be natural (for some people), and sometimes it is a response to a problem in the ear.

Did you know that those cotton buds that you are so in love with are really not so great after all? You should really be cleaning your outer ears with plain (or perhaps mildly soapy) water (when you bathe or shower), or, at most, a towel or tissue on the outer part of your ear. But, you’re not supposed to be shoving those cotton buds halfway (or all the way) into your ear to coax that earwax out. All that does is poke the wax in deeper and can cause possible problems. Some people have even caused eardrum perforations by using cotton ear buds too vigorously.

One of the problems that can occur in your ear is that the ear wax can get impacted in the ear, and sometimes it goes up against the eardrum and causes further problems. This can happen due to over zealous cleaning with ear buds, or naturally. This is not usually serious but can cause hearing loss, which can often be quite severe. When this happens you need to do something right away. The doctor will normally give you ear drops right away to begin breaking down the earwax. Then, when you go back several days later, they can use a vacuum machine to draw out the excess wax that has built up. If you want to try your own natural solution, there are also several ways you can do it. One of the most interesting and oldest methods is called “candling”. This consists of taking a special cone shaped contraptions (such as reeds, wax cones, candles, etc, and lighting a flame at the outer end, which causes a vacuum to form, it turn pulling out the earwax. Some people claim that this method not only cleans out the ears but also does something for a person’s inner self as well. This method is said to have been used by the ancient Egyptians, and is used by the Native Americans to this day. Some professionals claim that it doesn’t work and can be dangerous, but natural practitioners continue to use it, and swear by it. (If you are going to try this yourself, please do it under the supervision of an expert, and make sure that you do not have perforated ear drums or no ear tubes, because in those cases this method could be detrimental). So, in this case, when in doubt, don’t. Some people use a simple hot water bottle to heat the earwax and allow it to come out on its own. The hot water bottle method is a lot simpler and safer than candling.

lamb hot water bottle

Other people use a wash of hydrogen peroxide (which is a naturally occurring chemical). Apparently all you have to do it pour a small amount of it in your ear and wait. Shortly ear wax and other things will begin to come out. Another method is to use the hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ear bud. That method won’t get rid of serious wax buildup but it will make you feel better.

hydrogen peroxide

An even safer method is to put olive oil in your ear. Olive oil is like a natural antibiotic and it is oily as well. If you want an even stronger remedy, you can also try adding some squeezed garlic juice in with the olive oil before you put it in. After allowing it some time, the wax should begin to soften and will often come out on its own.

cortijo de suerte alta picual extra virgin olive oil

The fact is that some people just produce more earwax than others. Those people have the choice of doing nothing and leaving it, or, if it is bothering them, they can try one of the solutions mentioned above. You can always take preventative measures and use a softening agent (like olive oil) once in a while to make sure that it doesn’t become worse. If your problem is chronic though and bothers you, or if it is accompanied be severe deafness or pain, you should do something right away. Even if you decide to use a natural home style remedy it is better to consult the doctor before doing so, just to rule out any organic ailment like a perforated eardrum, etc. Don’t leave your ear health to chance because once you lose your hearing you may never get it back. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com


Quick and Easy Way to Keep Those Mosquitoes and Bugs at Bay


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 11-11-2015

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The mosquitoes are out in force these days, as are the biting ants, and other annoying insect pests. Some people just never seem to get bitten by them at all, but others just attract them it seems, and are usually covered in annoying itchy bites. So far, for us here in Kuwait, the idea of a mosquito bite, while being unwanted and really uncomfortable, is not something that we need to consider extremely dangerous, but there are places on the earth where they are, such as in places where malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, etc. are prevalent. Also, West Nile disease is more and more worrying, although we have not had to deal with it in Kuwait so far. So, what can you do if you’re one of those sweet smelling human beings that those mosquitoes and ants want so badly? Plenty!

mosquito essential oil blend

The first plan of action is to prevent those insects from coming around you at all. That is the ideal situation, so that you don’t have to deal with the bites afterward. The most obvious protection is the basic mosquito net. It might be cliché but they are still probably the most effective protection around. The only problem is that you can’t go out with a mosquito net wrapped around you. So, while mosquito nets are great for when you are going to sleep, you would look kind of funny walking around with one draped over your head. The “practical version” of the mosquito net is to simply wear clothing that covers all of your exposed areas. Also, it is important not to wear colors that look too flowery or bright, so the best thing is to wear light and dull earthy colors. Some perfumes and soap fragrances can also attract mosquitoes (and other bugs). The worst time for mosquitoes to bite is during the dark hours (specifically at the exact times of dusk and dawn), although that is not the only time they bite, and they are particularly pleased with dank, stagnant areas, swampy areas, or places where the humidity is high and it is hot. Also, having yellow tinged outdoor lights for places that might have mosquitoes is supposed to help reduce their numbers.

mosquito bracelets

There are practically countless products on the market right now, including some that are really not that safe or healthy. There are several that are safe and hopefully as healthy as chemical formulations would allow without being totally ineffective. There are yet others that are natural and considered totally safe under all circumstances, even pregnancy! Mosquito repellents are what you need to ward off those little rascals. They don’t kill the mosquitoes but they make life so miserable for them that they stop coming around. Citronella is one of the most well known natural items on the market. You can get it in the form of pure essential oil, and also as a blend and in products containing certain quantities of it. Probably the most well known product containing citronella oil is “Skin-So-Soft” from Avon. The great thing is that this product is available right here in Kuwait. Other important mosquito repelling essentials oils that have been included in many name brand marketed products include lemongrass, geranium, cedar, and peppermint.

mosquito sticks

As far as chemical repellents go “Deet” (which is actually N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diemethylbenzamide) is probably the most well-known (or at least one of the most) mosquito repellents around. It is sold practically everywhere too, and comes in several brand names, such as “Off!”, so it’s not difficult to find. These come in many different forms including sprays, wristbands, creams, oils, and more. Just be careful to follow the directions for use, because overusing can result in too much absorption through the skin, which can be toxic. Permethrin is another well known repellent chemical mosquito repellent that is particularly effective on clothing and cloth, and in fact is effective for weeks. If you can’t find one of the types that I have mentioned, then just make certain that whichever type of repellent that you end up using it has been approved by a bona fide, official, and respected health agency. I’m not certain whether any of these are available right now in Kuwait, but even if they aren’t, you should be able to get something similar, if need be.

citronella fire log mosquito repel

Some scientific studies also suggest that if you are prone to being bitten by mosquitoes, taking thiamine (which is vitamin B1) regularly will prevent mosquitoes from bothering you, and this is supposed to be particularly true for those who have serious allergic reactions to the bites.

skin so soft mosquito

But, if it’s already too late and you have already gotten bitten, then relief is easier than you think. There are some great herbs and essential oils out there on the market that you can use to get practically instant relief from mosquito bites. You can use pure lavender or tea tree essential oils directly on the mosquito bites, or you can blend calendula or olive oil (as a base) with several drops of pure lavender, tea tree, peppermint, geranium, German or Roman chamomile, or cypress essential oils. You will get immediate relief from the itching and redness and if the bite is swollen that will improve as well. These essential oils work so well that it is practically miraculous.

lavender mosquito       calendula oil mosquito

There are also several herbs that are great for bug bites, and some of them even grow in your garden. Marjoram, basil, marshmallow leaf, chamomile flowers, calendula flowers, licorice, and aloe (which is widely available in Kuwait) can all be used topically right on the mosquito bite for quick relief, and if you don’t have the herbs fresh, then you can also use dried herbs. You can either soak them in warm water, or brew them into an herbal infusion and then put them on the bites in the form of warm compresses. (These remedies are good for other types of bug bites as well).

calendula 2 mosquito      calendula mosquito

So, if you are one of those people who are prone to getting bitten, you don’t have to worry any more. Even if you can’t prevent the bites, you can get quick relief by using one of these great natural remedies.


Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com


Quick and Easy Way to Get Rid of Sinus Congestion Due to Cold, Flu, or Allergies


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 07-11-2015

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sinus problems

Well, here we are again in the middle of the changing of the seasons here in Kuwait. Practically everyone is suffering from sinus and ear problems, allergies, colds, or the flu. They are sniffling, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and worse! So, what can we do about this difficult time? Plenty!

There are so many alternative methods of dealing with the symptoms that come alongside any of the above-mentioned ailments. Some of the symptoms are:

  • excessive sneezing
  • coughing (either dry or productive, depending on the problem)
  • drippy or clogged nose
  • wheezy or whistling sounds when breathing (coming from the throat or chest area
  • tightness or pain in the chest area
  • feeling of pressure or pain in the forehead, temples, sides of face, cheeks, and       teeth (in the absence of other dental problems)
  • dizziness
  • ear pain with or without popping or whooshing sounds
  • headache concentrated in the frontal area, over the eyes
  • inability to taste or smell


The first thing you must do if you are suffering from any of these symptoms or others that may not have been mentioned here is to stop all dairy products immediately. Dairy (like milk, cheese, cream, etc) will cause you to have more phlegm, which you definitely do not want, since you already have a problem with too much phlegm. There are other foods that you would be better off stopping, for example oranges (that includes the juice)(I know, I know, since you were a small child everyone has been telling you to eat more oranges and drink orange juice whenever you were sick because you needed the vitamin C, well just pretend you didn’t hear it from them), onions, most store bought fruit (because they are usually loaded with pesticides and other preservatives that will cause you to become worse), heavy spices, tomato products (again the phlegm problem), and anything else that you have noticed increases your symptoms (you may have an allergy or sensitivity to some other type of food and not even realize it).

eucalyptus essential oil

Once you have reduced the influence of the foods that you are eating you can then move on to do something about your actual symptoms. If you are suffering from migraines, pressure or pain around the head and face, drippy or stuffed nose, or any number of other sinus type symptoms then there are several plans of action that you can take. The more you do of these the better you will feel. Steaming will always make you feel much better and more clear-headed. Just boil some water until it is steaming hot, and prepare some essential oils or fresh (or dried) herbs. The ones that I have found to work best are the camphorous ones, like eucalyptus, sage, thyme, and pine, but there are others that also work, like mint, marjoram, and rosemary. If you can get these in essential oil form great, otherwise, you can buy the fresh or dried herbs in the supermarket, or even better, grow your own. Once the water is hot and steaming, get your large bowl and towel ready, pour the hot water in the bowl, put in a few drops of the oil or a small handful of the herbs and immediately put your face over the steam with the towel over your head to make sure that none of the steam escapes. Breathe as deeply as you can until you can’t smell the oil or herbs anymore or until the steam dissipates. This process can be repeated up to several times a day. If you try this you will love it, because its action is fast and relieving. Steaming is definitely one of the best remedies for this type of problem. You can use essential oils for small infants as well, either with a vaporizer in the bedroom, or by putting a few drops of the essential oil on their pillow case before they sleep.

essential oil vaporizer

You can also have herbal teas. Naturally different teas will have different actions, but all of them will be soothing and warming, which is exactly what you need. The best to have are sage, thyme, marjoram, marshmallow (the plant not the confection), basil, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, mint, and the list goes on, but those are the best choices, and since some of them are available in practically every supermarket, it won’t be difficult for you to find them. These are herbs that are good to always keep on hand, just in case, and even the smallest infant can drink these safely (just remember with a small baby to reduce the concentration of the tea by half or more). When you make your tea, boil the water first, and then when the water is in your cup add a scant teaspoon of the herbs (or you can also put a heaping teaspoonful into a thermos), cover it will a saucer and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. The idea is that the water should be tinted but not dark, preferably. The reason that you cover it is because you don’t want the essential oils (which are the most important part of the herb) to escape and evaporate. You can add sugar if you want but you probably won’t feel that you need it since most of the western herbs (American and European) are mild and tasty on their own. You can drink several cups of this type of tea daily until you feel better.

marshmallow herb

Remember, you don’t HAVE to suffer from sinus problems, colds, the flu, etc. All you have to do is take action and do something about it. We tend to get lazy when we aren’t feeling well, and don’t really feel like preparing whatever it is that we need to do to help ourselves, but we find it easy to get up and make a trip to the doctor. So, instead of making trips to the doctor, make that little extra effort in order to cure yourself. Herbs and essential oils are certainly better choices than the usual antibiotics that conventional medical practitioners love to give out. And when you’re not feeling well, it is difficult to get yourself up and out in the first place. Also, don’t forget that if you catch whatever you are suffering from early, when you first feel it coming on, you will be able to prevent it from getting worse and taking hold. You may never have to be ill again! Wouldn’t that be great?!

thyme essential oil


Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com


Quick and Easy Way To Get Rid of Muscle Spasms From Exercise


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 30-10-2015

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muscle spasm in leg

Lot’s of people complain of muscles spasms in various parts of their bodies, particularly their legs or lower extremities. Some people say that the problem is worse when they are in bed sleeping (or trying to). The really bad spasms even have their own name. We call them Charlie horses (when they are in our leg muscles), but don’t let that cute name fool you. They hurt like crazy, and some people get them quite often. Some people get muscle spasms in their feet too, which is very painful and makes it difficult to walk or move around, particularly when they come regularly. So, the question is… what is happening inside the body that would cause the muscles to go into a spasm like that? There are several possibilities, with some being commoner than others. Let’s look at these causes and see what we can do to remedy the problem.

Probably the commonest reason of all for muscle cramps is over exercise. Naturally, if you have just done a super workout, don’t be surprised if you feel the burn, as they say. Also, if you have taken up a new sport, it is perfectly normal for the muscles to go into a kind of shock in the beginning, so don’t worry about it. The best thing to do in these cases is to soak in hot salty water. It will help your body to work out the lactic acid buildup/low mineral intake that is causing the cramping feeling. But, don’t worry too much, since this problem is only temporary, and will go in a day or two.

Another of the reasons that people may get muscle spasms in their lower extremities could be dehydration. This is a fairly common cause. Here in Kuwait this is particularly likely since the weather here is hot most of the year and it is easy to forget to drink enough water if you are not careful. While this isn’t usually a very dangerous problem, it can quickly turn into one, so always make sure that you drink enough water. Besides the obvious dangers of getting dehydrated, muscle spasms in your legs and feet are not pleasant and if you can avoid them with a little water, do. This is particularly important in the Holy Month of Ramadan, since you are not able to drink water all day. So, do make sure that you get in enough water at night. If not water, at least some kind of liquids, but water is the first choice.

himalaya salt

Click HERE to get Himalayan Salt from Amazon

Another common reason for muscle spasms is the lack of salt in the body. Now, you don’t have to go out and buy a salt block to lick all day long. Just make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet, and that, if you are suffering from leg or foot cramps, you get a little more salt in with your daily intake of liquids. This problem of salt depletion can also occur with the depletion of calcium and other minerals and vitamins, which upsets the equilibrium in your system and can cause all sorts of other problems as well as the muscle cramps. So, always make sure that you eat a well balanced diet, drink plenty of liquids and, if you need to take a multivitamin with minerals, take one! This is particularly important if you are suffering from some type of acute ailment, such as diarrhea, or vomiting, where it is easier for you to become dehydrated and depleted of these important things. But, if you are well and still complain of muscle cramps, drink more water, eat food with a little more salt, and eat foods with plenty of magnesium (like dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), fish, bananas, dried beans, lentils, brown rice, and yes! dark chocolate).

organic sprouted pumpkin seeds

Click HERE to buy raw sprouted organic pumpkin seeds from Amazon

Sometimes there is no internal problem perse that is causing your cramps… but there are also external factors that can contribute to the problem. The most common external factor would be the cold. While you wouldn’t necessarily think that in Kuwait this would be a problem (everyone knows that the weather here easily goes up to 50 C in the summer months) yet, it really can be a problem here, even in the summer. This is due to the extensive use of air conditioning. So, if you tend to suffer from cramps in the lower extremities, in the summer be careful from overly cold air conditioners, and in the winter make sure you keep warm and out of the cold desert air. Keeping your muscles warm is a simply way of solving your problem. If you must be in a cold environment, either indoors or out, make sure that you are properly dressed. You might even want to go as far as wearing leg warmers and heavier socks. While this might look slightly unusual in the summer, no one will blink an eye in the winter, and don’t worry about it anyway, since your health is more important. Another good remedy is to soak your legs and feet in hot salty water. This is a great remedy for muscle spasms, and just feels good, even after just walking too much. You can also put hot salt water compresses, which will give you the same effect.

heated calf wrap

Click HERE to get this heated calf wrap from Amazon

It is also very effective to use black pepper and ginger essential oils in a base of organic olive oil (or any other organic oil like almond, etc…. all you have to do is put a few drops of each in the base oil and rub it all over the affected area for practically instant relief.

black pepper essential oil ginger essential oil

And a good old foot bath will do wonders for any type of leg muscle spasm. Use water that is quite hot, as hot as you can stand, but not hot enough to burn you obviously :)

leg spa foot and leg bathClick HERE to get this foot and leg spa from Amazon

There are some other possible causes of muscles spasms in the legs and feet, but they are rare and caused by a variety of organic diseases, most of which are less common, so before you run off to the doctor to see what the problem is, consider the possible causes that I have mentioned above. Once you have ruled out all of these possibilities, then a trip to a general doctor or other medical practitioner might be in order. It isn’t a good idea to leave this type of ailment too long, without finding out what the problem is, just in case.

If you or someone you know suffers from muscle spasms (cramps) in the legs or feet, it is usually easy to get rid of. Don’t worry about it too much, but just take action, and don’t leave it. You need to make sure that your health in number one on your list of things to do!


Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

Can Gadgets Work To Help You Lose Weight?


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 24-10-2015

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fat jiggler

When it comes to losing weight people will do almost anything. But, you will find it interesting to see just what kind of ridiculous things they will actually try. I guess it is a matter of desperate measures for desperate people, but some of these things are hilarious, and really absurd! It really makes you wonder how anyone would actually believe that something like that would work at all! Now, this is not to say that some weight loss gadgets don’t have some merit when it comes to losing weight. That’s not it at all! There are plenty of perfectly good and useful weight loss helpers out there. Unfortunately though, many of the things are a waste of time and money. Those are the ones we will be talking about here.


Check it out! Caffeine laced pantyhose! What will they think of next? While you wear them the caffeine is being released into your body, and supposedly your metabolism is going to be booming in no time flat! Well, if they work, you still need to stay away from them, because, as we stated previously, caffeine is not your friend. So, if you’re thinking of spending your money on this item, don’t.


There is also weight loss lip balm. I hope your lips are really chapped, because in order for this to work at all, you would need a lot more of this supposed appetite suppressant than you are ever going to get from swiping this over your lips! Go for the cocoa butter and the salad instead.


Ab-belts are another of the interesting gadgets out on the market today. Do we really think that wearing a special belt around all day or for several hours is going to help us? It’s going to melt away the fat, you say. Highly unlikely! Doing a bunch of stomach crunches for the same amount of time would be sure to give us great abs!


Or perhaps you wish to take it to another level with the “zapping” version, which uses batteries and claims to zap away your problem fatty areas. The only way that I know for sure works for that is the zapping action of a liposuction tube digging away at your fat! I know that zapper is a lot less expensive, but it’s pretty much the same as giving your money away in charity to a really rich guy, and without any of the self satisfaction.

fat joke

Another gimmick that is out in the market is the blue diet light. This is combined with hypnosis apparently. Be very careful when you read about claims like these, because if they worked you would be seeing lots of thin people walking about with beautiful bodies and the reflections of blue lights in their eyes. (Maybe I will tell you about my red light diet story sometime if you are really nice to me. The answer is yes I too, have been gullible!).

japan diet glasses

Along that same line of thought come the diet glasses. These glasses make you think your food is larger. These supposedly work in helping you to eat less according to a study done… OK.  But I will keep my money for those nice designer sunglasses that I had my eye on.

diet earrings

Then, when you take off your diet glasses, you can put on your diet earrings. Here the idea comes from acupuncture and areas on your ears that are supposed to suppress your appetite. Well, do they work? What do YOU think? Now, the kicker is that these earrings are actually cute. You might even want to wear them if they didn’t make you lose weight. But, since they do (?????) that makes it even better! NOT!

sauna suit

All those health clubs that want to suck the fat out of you with their body wraps, fat melting machines and more, are not just whistling Dixie, they are sucking something out of you for sure, but it’s not fat. Basically, it’s your money that they are sucking out of you. So, keep your hard earned money in your pockets and stop wasting it on silly gimmicks that don’t work.


Now, if you don’t want to get bored…what about the hula chair? You can sit on it and never stand up, all the while getting loads of exercise! The best part is that you turn it on and it works all by itself, twisting you in hula-like movements until you turn into Barbie! Don’t run right out and order one now though. They aren’t that cheap, and unfortunately, even though they seem like a lot of fun (did I say that?) they simply aren’t going to give you the results that you are looking for. (Unless the results you are looking for are you sitting in a foolish looking chair twisting like crazy in front of the television).

jiggle machine

Then there are those machines that you lie down on and they do all the work for you, and you’re supposed to lose all kinds of weight. The fact is that anything that allows you lay around like a sloth simply isn’t going to be melting any of that weight off you, no matter how much you hope that it does. Neither will those vacuum chambers that work along the same lines. And those machines that make you jiggle like crazy are just as much of a waste of time as any of those other gadgets. So, steer clear.

air shorts

The moral of the story is that you need to keep your money in your pocket, eat less, and do some kind of exercise of your choice. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing is what you should be doing, while you are cutting down on your intake, because, no matter what anyone tells you, the only way to lose weight (besides cutting off your fat) is to zip up your lips.


Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

Weight Loss That Really Works!


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 23-10-2015

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no bread

We have been talking about dieting for several weeks now, and I bet you’re wondering whether there are any diets that actually work, since we have, for the most part, been talking about diet supplements, drugs, and more, that don’t really work. Last week we discussed the two most common forms of weight loss surgery (there are other more minor forms, but I will not get into them now, since they are practically useless). But, not everyone is at a weight heavy enough for weight loss surgery, and some people simply don’t want to take a step that drastic. So, you are certain to be wondering if there is any other way to diet that actually works and doesn’t cost a fortune. Well, there are ways, although, a certain method might work for someone, but not for you. So, you really have to take every case on its own merit, and if you are the one dieting, you have to ask yourself what will work for you personally. If you aren’t sure, then try different things until you get it right, but in the meantime, there are statistics available about what does and doesn’t work for the majority. So, take some advice from others.

One recent study showed that of the only 1 out of 4 dieters actually stuck to whatever diet they had started for a year or more, but if they did they would be more likely to keep off the weight that was lost. The bottom line of this particular study is that no matter what your diet choice is, if you are in it for the long term, you will inevitably be successful.

The problem is that there are so many different diets out there that you probably don’t know where to begin. There are also several private weight loss clinics here in Kuwait, and they are fine and help their patients to a limit. But, after that, the patient is again at a loss. There is no real support system set up to encourage and inspire. Another important factor in successful dieting seems to be the buddy system, or having a friend along for the ride with you. So, it is almost inevitable that, if you are on a diet, being part of a group is going to help you a great deal, if not be totally responsible for the success.

Another important factor is exercise. I know that hardly anyone who needs to be on a diet wants to exercise (I know I don’t). The fact is that it is downright difficult, tiring, and time consuming. But, the fact of the matter is that if you don’t get moving, every ounce of weight that you have to get rid of will not be going very far, and is more likely to reappear on your hips very quickly again even if you do lose it. The idea is to find the type of exercises that you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy doing them, there is no point, because how are you going to be able to continue long term with something that you can’t stand? There are so many choices out there you should be able to find one or two types of exercise that suit you.

Then, how will you decide which type of diet you will choose. For starters, if you see the words “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” run in the other direction. Not only will you NOT lose that much weight in that very short period of time, but you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. Choose a diet that is well balanced and had a long track record. There are so many different diets out there you will not be at a loss for choice. I will mention a few good ones here, but you really have to choose the one that works for you. You are an individual, and just because the “heart disease diet” worked for your aunt Mary doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you too. Some of the good, balanced, healthy diets that I have seen around are The Atkins Diet (my personal favorite, but it must be followed correctly, so you really have to buy the book, sign up for information on their website or e-diets, and follow the rules), South Beach, Healthy Heart, Low Glycemic Index Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, The Mayo Clinic Diet, and there are many more. The idea is that you should be getting enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from a wide variety of foods. Those one food diets that you hear about all the time are generally not a really good idea. Your health will suffer and most people get so bored with that type of diet that they end up binging when they are done and gaining back all the weight they lost and more! What a waste (literally and figuratively)!


Statistics show that dieting with a buddy will give you more of a chance to succeed, so join a diet group if you have the opportunity to do so. If you don’t have a group in your area, join an online group. There are literally hundreds out there. Some of them are free, for example: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/ is one, and also the Atkins site: http://www.atkins.com/, which is a great and informative site (and I mentioned that I’m particular to the success of this diet, as long as it is followed correctly). The Atkins site has several advantages over others, and one of the best of all is that it is FREE!!! I am also a big fan of e-diets: http://www.ediets.com/. On that site, you have to pay to join, but it is not expensive and worth every penny. You become a part of a group, there are physical challenges, and they work out a diet program for you based on your own personal preferences. This is great because it gives you the support system that you need to be able to continue long term. This site has had a lot of success, and people are very positive about their experiences with it. They offer a high amount of support in whichever area you feel need. I highly recommend it. Weight Watchers is another of my highly recommended sites. Here again you do have to pay a small fee, but you are given so many tools that encourage you to stay on track with your diet that it is worth it: http://www.weightwatchers.com/index.aspx. Still, though the Atkins site is my own personal favorite because it is chock full of information, has support groups, chat groups, recipes, diet advice, and more, and, best of all, it’s free!

My other favorite low carb site is actually a paleo site: Mark’s Daily Apple. 

And, of course, there are many more… if you know any good ones, share them below!

So, the bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, there are literally thousands of options out there for you, but be sure that you choose the one that is right for you. Stay away from fads and diets that cost a great deal of money. Pick a diet that is going to work for you, and give you your desired results, without turning you into a zombie. Now, get out there and shed those pounds!!!

To help you get started… here are some good books that you can get from Amazon~

New Atkins   primal blueprint   primal blueprint total transformation   primal blueprint quick and easy meals   primal blueprint complete set


Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com


How Dangerous are Surgical Weight Loss Options?


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 11-10-2015

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weight loss surgery 1
For the past several weeks we have been talking about many of the diet products on the market these days. There are so many different types of weight loss products out there that we really can’t go over everything, but I think we have introduced enough that our readers are much more aware about them than they were before.

So this week we are going to begin our discussion on the various forms of weight loss surgery that are available to people nowadays. Weight loss surgery has become so widespread all over the world that you are certain to know someone who has done it or someone who knows someone who has. There is some ethical discussion about whether or not this type of surgery is done out of vanity or whether it is done for dire health purposes. Naturally, every different person who is considering doing such surgery has their own reasons, and every person must be assessed separately, but probably most people do it for health AND vanity reasons, which are both valid. Having said this, we must always remember that all forms of surgery are dangerous, can result in death, and before anyone makes the decision to do weight loss surgery (or any other type of surgery, for that matter), all the details, dangers, and potential long term drawbacks of the proposed type of surgery should be well researched, well understood, and well thought out. Any overweight person who is considering doing any of the various forms of weight loss surgeries that we will discuss, must be well aware of all of the risks, as well as what the benefits are.

While many of these types of surgeries seem quite drastic, the fact is that, statistically, it has been proven that overweight (obese) people actually live longer after having done one of the various forms of weight loss surgery. So, drastic or not, some people simply can’t diet their miseries away and need a stronger push. The fact is that obese people are dying every day of the various complications of being obese. According to the American Medical Association in the year 2000 around 400,000 people died from obesity attributed complications (such as diabetes, heart problems, etc). This is where weight loss (also called bariatric) surgery comes into the picture. It doesn’t only make people look better, but it saves lives.

There are several different types of weight loss surgery, some being more drastic than others. Some methods are reversible and some aren’t, so, if you are one of the people considering weight loss surgery, think a thousand times over before you make a decision that you might regret later on.

One of the oldest forms of weight loss surgery is what is called the gastric bypass (also known as stomach stapling, although there is really much more to it than that). This procedure is performed as an in-patient procedure with a stay in the hospital because it is quite drastic. Basically what happens here is that you are opened up surgically, and rearranged. This method is actually made up of several different methods, including a simple bypass, which combines a reduction of the size of the stomach (either through stapling or banding) to the size of a small pouch (but leaves the rest of the stomach intact), combined with a change in the location of the intestine, which prevents people from eating too much and also acts to prevent absorption in certain cases as well, and a more serious version, where the entire stomach is cut off and made into a tiny pouch, the last portion of the small intestine is reattached to this small pouch stomach while bypassing the duodenum and the jejunum completely, thus preventing absorption of food. While the weight loss (as you can well imagine) is great with this, since it is so drastic the side effects are almost always increased.

Naturally, as you would imagine, with such a change in the body you are going to have several possible side effects. These side effects include vomiting (particularly when an episode of overeating occurs), dumping (which is when the food that is eaten passes directly through the bowel without being absorbed, and causes weakness, diarrhea, nausea, etc.), vitamin deficiency, and more.

The other newer type of weight loss surgery is called the laparoscopic gastric band. Basically, this type of surgery consists of tiny laparoscopic incisions that enable placement of a plastic “band” around the low end of the esophagus (at the very top of the stomach), which creates a tiny pouch. The idea behind this is that once the band is filled (which is done with a needle through a port under the skin) it causes the person to feel full after eating only tiny amounts of food, thus the weight loss. This procedure must also be done in the hospital, but it requires a much shorter stay. Also, since the procedure is done laparoscopically, and is much less invasive than the gastric bypass, the recovery time is much shorter. The LAP band is also a reversible procedure, so that if, for any reason (but why would you want to?) you wish to remove the band, you can.

With this type of weight loss surgery there are several advantages, including the fact that it is adjustable, so that if you need to eat (for example, if you become pregnant) you can simply deflate it. It has much fewer complications than the gastric bypass surgery, although there are always going to be a minute amount of people who suffer certain complications, and these can include erosion of the area of the stomach where the band is touching, band slippage, etc., although the percentage of people that these complications occur with are extremely low, and with proper diet and care, all of these complications should be easily averted.

One of the drawbacks with this type of operation, as compared to the gastric bypass is that sometimes the weight takes longer to come off, but that could also be considered an advantage, since the longer it takes, the better the skin tone could come out (who wants horrible saggy skin?). Also, apparently, according to long term studies, the weight that is taken off with the LAP band surgery is more permanent, because often with gastric bypass, the weight is regained after several years, because the people can eventually stretch their pouch with long term overeating (for those who don’t change their eating habits and make a commitment to it). Logic will also tell you (as well as statistics) that the less invasive the procedure is the less complications you will have, so the LAP band is the least invasive, the normal gastric bypass is more invasive, and the drastic version of the gastric bypass is the most invasive of all, and carries with it the most complications and drawbacks.

These types of operations are definitely not for the faint of heart. They are for seriously obese people who have a long history of dieting and exercise without success. These are for people who desperately need to lose weight, usually for medical reasons. Usually the minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) for even being considered for this operation would be 40 or more, or are 100 pounds or more overweight (here in Kuwait, being 100 kilos or over is often a standard for doctors). The other problem is that this type of procedure is expensive, so it is still not an option for everyone, but prices are going down, and for those who desperately need it, the government hospitals offer cut rate prices (because you only have to pay for the band itself, for example in the LAP band procedure).

So, while these operations are not a standard weight loss solution, and are quite severe when compared to the dieting and exercise traditionally employed for weight loss, they are extremely effective, and statistically have shown better results than simple diet and exercise in both the short and long term. So, if you are suffering from severe obesity combined with serious (or potentially serious) medical problems, you might want to consider some form of weight loss surgery, but do your own investigations, and do see a highly qualified doctor.

(For people who are interested in finding out more, you can contact me through email: miaponzo@yahoo.com, for more information and names of doctors).

Are Your Diet Pills Going to Kill You?


Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 09-10-2015

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deadly diet pills


There is a weight loss drug on the market that is only available through prescription, which is called Reductil (here in Kuwait), and is known as Meridia in the USA. (It is also known as sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate, scientifically.) We are going to discuss this drug because it is getting popular with many people, and since it is available here, we ought to know about it, although we aren’t going to get into too much depth, since there is tons of information on this drug on the Internet.

The drug works to suppress the appetite, which is thought to happen by giving you a sense of well being, happiness, and euphoria, basically. But, while this is all well and good (and I’m not trying to be a spoiled sport, I swear), but the clinical trials have only been going on for a short time, and beyond 2 years no one really knows what this drug may or may not cause. (Please keep in mind here the “Fen-phen” fiasco that only occurred due to a lack of long term testing). That alone should really be a factor in your decision not to take it. The problem is that when people are desperate to lose weight they will do practically anything. But, taking drugs should most definitely not be high on your list of ways to lose weight. This drug, particularly, should be off of your list, if not only for the super, duper long list of side effects and observed reactions, which include: headaches, constipation, insomnia, sore throat, impotence, depression, seizures, high blood pressure, and much more.

While this drug is being touted as the new, safe miracle diet medication, my own personal advice is this: The more you know the better you are, and in this case it could never be truer. So, don’t jump into this diet drug. Because when things sound too good to be true, then usually are!

Also still available on the market is Phentermine (which goes by many trade names, including Adipex-P, Obinex, Oby-Trim, and others), which is one of the offending drugs in the Fen-phen duo. When Fenfluramine was taken off the market in the middle of the hoopla of deaths, Phentermine stayed around. It is still available around the world. Phentermine acts as an appetite suppressant and stimulant, and as such is almost as addictive as almost any amphetamine which directly affects the nervous system. It, like Reductil, is considered dangerous (a controlled substance), and is distributed by prescription only in most countries. While it is not as dangerous as Reductil, it does have many side effects, including nervousness, tremor, insomnia, headache, dizziness, impotence, diarrhea, constipation, and even hallucinations! This drug is certainly not recommended, primary because of its addictiveness and serious side effects. But, people are still taking it.

Any drug that claims addictive properties should be taken immediately off of your list of medications you need or want to take. I am of the opinion that ALL medications, unless of dire necessity, should be left on the shelves, and this is particularly true with this type of medication. While the idea is that only the most dangerously obese people are supposed to have these medications prescribed, the fact is that people who are not in desperate need are taking them too. That is where tragedies can occur. And, while a morbidly obese person does desperately need to reduce their weight, for a variety of health reasons, they do not really need to become addicted to yet another thing. (Many, if not most, obese people are already addictive personalities and already addicted to food, so why add on another addiction?)

The bottom line is that these drugs are addictive and dangerous. The benefits of taking them are few when compared to the detriments, and why bother when there are other safer, more permanent alternatives? These drugs can only be taken for a fairly short period of time anyway, and those taking them are subject to psychological evaluations, along with other complicated issues, so why bother? These are just temporary solutions that can end up in lifelong addictions. Is it worth it? I think not!

It is true that there are so many diet aids and nutritional supplements out there on the market today that we ca hardly keep track of them. Manufacturers are becoming more and more creative in getting away with murder (so to speak), and are coming up with products that haven’t been regulated yet, marketing products similar to dangerous products and worse. While many of these products really are safe, certainly many more aren’t. So you have to be a savvy consumer, and learn about what you are buying. In this day and age of super fast Internet, this shouldn’t be difficult. Always remember that the less artificial material you metabolize the better. Your liver and other bodily organs will thank you.

If you are one of those people who are suffering from long term obesity, there are many other (drugless) solutions out there, ranging from the old standard, dieting, to different surgical interventions (some safer and some less so). Next week we are going to discuss the various surgical options available out there in the world today for weight loss, and then you will be able to make your own informed decisions!
Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com