NorthStar Nutritionals Blog

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  1. What is Warm Water Therapy?

    therapy warm waterEverybody loves an indulgence. And everybody loves an easy at home remedy that makes them feel better.

    Now, there’s something that combines the two – warm water therapy.

    In fairness, warm water therapy has been around for thousands of years, but we’re finally understanding how and why it actually works to ease stiffness, pain, and just about every other symptom of musculoskeletal conditions.

    A Good Soak…

    …really can make you feel better. All you have to do to experience the benefits of warm water therapy is to run a bath.

    That’s it. In spite of the fancy name, you can call warm water therapy your evening bath, and it really is the same thing.

    Twenty minutes in the tub can:

    • Loosen joints
    • Release muscles
    • Ease pain
    • And relax your mind so you feel better emotionally, as well as physically

    How It Works

    You’ve probably heard of high impact, low impact, and no impact activities. What those rankings boil down to are how much gravity affects and jars your joints.

    The higher the impact, the harder activity is on your joints. In order to really rest your joints and muscles, you need a no impact environment, one that reduces the effects of gravity.

    And that’s what warm water therapy delivers.

    The buoyancy of the water reduces the impact of gravity on your joints, so there’s less pain. Since water provides full support for your sore muscles, they aren’t having to do any of the work.

    Any movements during warm water therapy are truly NO impact movements.

    This break from gravity helps decrease inflammation and swelling – and the pain and discomfort that come along with inflammation and swelling!

    Plus, the warmth of the water helps improve circulation, which also helps with pain.

    Turning Your Tub Into Warm Water Therapy

    While a nice bath can feel good, a few easy steps can turn it into real warm water therapy.

    First, make sure the temperature isn’t too hot. It’s warm water therapy, after all. Aim for 92* to 100*. That range will give you the maximum benefits of heat without being so hot as to start causing problems.

    Once you’re in the tub, move as much as you can. Depending on the size of your tub, you may be limited, but warm water therapy is ideal for stretching sore muscles and flexing stiff joints.

    If you don’t have enough room to move – or so, but want to increase the benefits of the bath – stretch gently once you’ve gotten out of the tub, as well.

    Practitioners of warm water therapy report this combination of soaking and stretching afterwards combines for greater relief than either alone.

    Finally, try adding bath salts or oils. A bath can be a great carrier for nutrients that your body needs.

    For example, most people don’t get enough magnesium, which is a mineral that promotes bone health (and so much more!). You can use warm water therapy to get magnesium into your system by adding Epsom salts to your tub.

    They’re made of magnesium, and you can absorb through your skin. Limit your Epsom salt baths to once a week.

    If bath salts aren’t your thing, essential oils can boost the efficacy of warm water therapy. Try a few drops of pure eucalyptus oil. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease pain and stiffness.

    Just be sure to start with one or two drops at first. You can always add more if you want, but you can’t take it out if you need.

    Finally, be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your soak, though, because the warmth can dehydrate you if you’re not careful.

    Alternatives to the Tub

    What if just getting in and out of your tub is too difficult? Or if you don’t even have a tub? Don’t worry!

    You can still benefit from warm water therapy – you just need a pool!

    Most YMCAs and many senior centers have pools you can use for a nominal fee. Even some hotels allow locals to have pool memberships, so ask around your community.

    Look for water aerobics classes or gentle stretching classes. It’s all easier and less painful when you’re in the water – that’s the whole point of warm water therapy – so even if you’ve had to give up traditional exercise classes, water classes could really help.

    There are even water tai chi classes, called ai chi, that focus on balance and relaxation for less pain and stiffness.

    Can’t find a class? Find a corner of the pool and simply float, bob, or paddle a bit. Just like you were in your tub, you’ll get the same benefits of warm water therapy.

    You can also add basic stretches to your personal pool routine. Be sure to stay in the shallow end and don’t over-exert yourself at first.

    At home or in the pool. Warm water therapy can be a life-changing experience. Go from stiff and sore to flexible and relaxed, thank to your regularly scheduled soak.

  2. 4 Healthy Pie Recipes That Are GOOD For You

    Pie Recipes HealthyWho doesn’t love pie?

    Especially this time of year, when it seems like holiday tables are sagging under the weight of desserts!

    If only there were such a thing as a healthy pie…

    Well, guess what? There is!

    Not only are there healthy pie recipes, but there are ways to make your favorite pie recipes a little healthier without making many changes at all.

    Read on for healthy pie tips AND healthy pie recipes.

    Tips to Make Your Favorite Pies HEALTHY Pies

    1. Don’t use store-bought pie crust. The truth is that many pies don’t even need crusts, but for those that do, make your own. Using real ingredients that you can pronounce won’t necessarily cut any calories, but it will make your crust healthier than the chemical and preservative-laden ones from the grocery store baking aisle.

    2. Try new flours. Most cooks use white flour in their crusts. But for a healthier pie, mix the crust flour up a bit. Try swapping in whole grain flour, nut flour, or even ground nuts for at least some of your white flour.

    3. Cut the sugar. You can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe by as much as 25% before it starts to interfere with baking times or texture. While it may make your pies taste a little different, when using naturally sweet ingredients like fruit, sweet potato, or chocolate, you probably won’t miss it much – or at all!

    Healthy Pie Recipes

    Use those tips on your favorite pies – or try one of these healthy pies for a new take on some old traditions.

    No-Crust Pumpkin Pie – remember we mentioned that some pies don’t need crusts? Here’s a perfect example. Makes 8 servings

    Ingredients:

    • ¾ c granulated sugar
    • 1 t ground cinnamon
    • ½ t salt
    • ½ t ground ginger
    • ¼ t ground cloves
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
    • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 350° F.
    • Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.
    • Beat eggs in a large bowl.
    • Stir pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture in with eggs in large bowl.
    • Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
    • Pour into glass or ceramic baking dish.
    • Bake until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
    • Cool on wire rack, then refrigerate overnight, until ready to serve.

    Peanut Butter Yogurt Pie – this is a harder crust to make from scratch, but the rest of the pie is healthy enough that using a store-bought pie this time is an acceptable indulgence. Makes 10 servings.

    Ingredients:

    • 32 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt
    • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    • 9-inch crust chocolate cookie crust

    Directions:

    • In a large mixing bowl, stir the yogurt and peanut butter with a wire whisk until blended.
    • Spread into the prepared pie shell.
    • Chill the pie overnight (the pie will be thicker the longer it is chilled). Serve cold.

    Apple Baked Apple Pie – If you think the best part of a pie is the filling, but aren’t ready to give up the crust completely, this one’s for you. Serves 4.

    Ingredients:

    • ½ recipe of your favorite pie crust
    • 6 medium Granny Smith Apples
    • 1 t lemon juice
    • 1 t flour
    • ½ t pumpkin pie spice
    • ½ t cinnamon
    • ½ c sugar
    • 1 T sugar
    • ½ t cinnamon

    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    • Prepare and roll out your pie crust on parchment paper and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
    • Wash apples and cut the tops of four of them (do not peel). Hollow out the core and some of the apple to make an apple bowl.
    • Place in an 8x8 glass baking dish
    • Peel, core and dice the other 2 apples and place in a small bowl.
    • Add lemon juice, flour, pumpkin pie spice, ½ t cinnamon, and ½ c sugar to the apples. Mix.
    • Spoon apple mixture into the apple bowls. Pack slightly and fill to the top.
    • Remove pie crust from the refrigerator and cut strips about 4 inches by ½ inch.
    • Place 4 strips of the pie crust onto each apple in a lattice pattern.
    • Combine 1 T sugar and ½ t cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of the pie crust lattice pattern on each apple.
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden and apple is soft.
    • Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before moving out of the dish ( they are soft and can break if you are not careful).
    • Serve warm.

    Spiced Quinoa Pie Crust – not sure you’re ready for a crustless pie, no matter how healthy? But can’t bring yourself to make a traditional crust? Then try this one. Bonus, it’s gluten free!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c quinoa flour
    • 2 T coconut sugar
    • ¼ t baking powder
    • ¼ t salt
    • ½ t each ginger and cinnamon
    • ¼ c coconut oil, semi-firm
    • 3 T cold water

    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 350. Grease the base and sides of a standard pie plate.
    • Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add coconut oil and mash through with a fork until well combined and crumbly.
    • Stir in 2 T of water first then add the final T if needed – ‘crumbs’ should hold together when pressed but not be wet.
    • Turn into prepared pan and press evenly across base and up sides, using a large spoon.
    • Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
    • Fill with any healthy pie filling you love best.

    Pie is great. But healthy pie – well, that’s even better. Enjoy!

  3. Eating Cheap: How to Feel Full on a Strict Budget

    cheap eatingWhen you’re on a strict budget, it’s easy to think that you can’t eat well.

    Because yes, organic foods cost more and fresh foods cost more – generally.

    But they don’t have to.

    You can eat healthily, well, and feel full even on a strict budget.

    It just takes a little planning and creativity. Continue reading

  4. Is SetraVida Safe to Use?

    safe setravidaThe most important question you can ask when looking at a new supplement or medication, even before “does it work?”… is “is it safe?”

    It’s the question we ask first, too!

    After all, it really doesn’t matter if something works or not if it’s going to cause bigger problems than the ones you’re trying to solve.

    So we respect the fact that you want to know if SetraVida is safe or not.

    Being worried about your health and premature aging is enough.

    You shouldn’t be worried about if the supplement you’re taking for it is safe, too.

    We’re always happy to revisit the question with you. Continue reading

  5. SetraVida Benefits: Help Activate the Longevity Gene

    benefits setravidaThe fountain of youth…

    Methuselah from the Old Testament…

    Dorian Gray and his portrait in the attic…

    For as long as there have been people growing older, there have been people trying to stay young.

    Longer, healthier lives has been the dream since the beginning of time.

    And now – the dream is becoming a reality. Because researchers may have learned how to activate the gene that could keep you younger, longer.

    That’s the SetraVida benefit we’re excited to share with you! Since researchers have learned this power, we’ve learned how to harness it.

    That’s right – SetraVida actually helps activate the longevity gene. Continue reading

  6. The Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Dementia

    For generations, avoiding dementia – or not – was a roll of the dice.

    Essentially, you would get older and hope you kept most of your cognitive abilities in the process.

    But no more. These days, researchers have learned that avoiding dementia is possible, and more importantly, relatively easy. Continue reading

  7. Your Stuffy Nose Could Mean Something More

    It’s almost winter and that means it’s stuffy nose season.

    Colds, flu, dust, even allergies can all cause a miserable stuffy nose.

    But it could be something else, too. Something that’s supposed to help, not make it worse.

    To understand it, though, it helps to understand how and why your nose gets stuffy in the first place… Continue reading

  8. SetraVida Ingredients: What’s in the SetraVida Formula?

    ingredients setravidaImagine ingredients that can practically stop aging in its tracks.

    Because that’s what SetraVida ingredients can do.

    It’s a little heavy on the science but, please, stay with us, because it’s worth it to understand how the SetraVida ingredients work. Continue reading

  9. Everyday Things You Can Do to Boost Your Libido

    things everydayIf you listen to commercials, it seems like the only everyday thing you can do to boost your libido is to change your diet.

    It’s enough to make a man decide to put up with a slow sex life instead.

    Luckily, there are plenty of other everyday things you can do to boost your libido, without having to rely on something questionable or live with a lackluster love life! Continue reading

  10. Lumbar Spine Stretches and Exercises to Erase Your Lower Back Pain

    stretches lumbar spineWhen your back hurts, all you want to do is stop and rest.

    As counterintuitive as it seems, though, the key really is to get up and get moving.

    Lumbar spine stretches and the right kind of exercise can be your first step back towards feeling good and living pain free.

    The key is to choose your exercise and lumbar spine stretches wisely.

    Because some of the most common stretches and exercises can do more harm than good.

    When your back hurts, avoid toe touches, leg lifts, and sit ups.

    Yes, they can help stretch and strengthen a healthy back – but one that’s already hurting will only make it worse!

    So what are you supposed to do? Try these exercises and lumbar spine stretches, instead. And feel your pain melt away. Continue reading

  11. My Eyes Are Dry - Now What?

    dry my eyesWhen your eyes are dry every day feels like an annoyance.

    No, there’s nothing seriously wrong, but there’s certainly nothing right, either.

    On bad days, life can become an itchy, scratchy irritation one just has to get through.

    That’s no way to live life!

    Luckily, just because your eyes are dry doesn’t mean you have to live with it.

    Let’s take a closer look at dry eyes, and the natural ways you can manage them. Continue reading

  12. Men Over 60: How to Enjoy Sex for the Future

    over 60 menMen over 60 have to learn how to deal with so many changes – to their health, to their bodies, and yes, to their sex drives.

    But just because things are changing doesn’t mean things have to be bad.

    Your sex life can be different, and still be fulfilling and sexy!

    These tips can help men over 60 navigate the changes in the bedroom without ever missing a beat – Continue reading

  13. Don't Ignore These 9 High Blood Pressure Warnings

    warnings high blood pressureToo many people are unaware that high blood pressure comes with warnings.

    They think that high blood pressure is something you can’t identify until you’re in the doctor’s office waiting for the cuff to release.

    But that is a false and quite frankly dangerous misunderstanding of how high blood pressure works.

    High blood pressure warnings do exist, and you can identify them. You just have to know what they are. Continue reading

  14. 11 of the Best Herbs to Defeat Your Pain

    herbs bestThere’s so many health-related things you can do naturally these days – so why are you still using scary drugs to relieve your pain?

    Because there’s no need to! Not when there are herbs that work just as well at relieving your pain.

    Look no further to find the best herbs for easing your pain.

    Give up the NSAIDs and stick with your healthy lifestyle even when it comes to pain relief. Continue reading

  15. How to Enjoy Good Sugars this Halloween

    sugars goodHere’s our secret – we haven’t eliminated sugar from our diets completely.

    The occasional treat is simply too delicious for us to get rid of it completely.

    After all, have you seen our BenVia Gold brownie recipe?

    Have you tasted it? So no, we haven’t given up sugar completely.

    The key, though, is that we use good sugars the majority of the time, and save traditional sugars for very occasional indulgences.

    Which makes Halloween tough, because there are chocolates, candies, and desserts everywhere this time of year.

    And none of those bags you see at the grocery store are sweetened with good sugars, you just know it.

    We aren’t, however, willing to throw away our occasional taste of traditional sugar on the mass produced stuff that will fill trick or treat bags later this month.

    Luckily, we don’t have to – and neither do you. Not with these good sugar desserts that taste just as good as anything made with traditional sugar! Continue reading

  16. 8 Rules for Defeating Anxiety That Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You

    anxiety defeatingAlthough defeating anxiety is one of the most important things you can do, it’s also one of the most intimidating.

    After all, part of anxiety is the feeling that you can’t ever get better.

    How are you supposed to defeat anxiety when the very fact that you have it makes you feel like you can never defeat it?

    First, it’s vital that you lose the stigma about having anxiety.

    Talk to your doctor. Admit you’re struggling with it. There are ways your doctor can help.

    But your doctor isn’t the only one who can help with defeating anxiety.

    You have a powerful ally where you might not expect it: yourself.

    In spite of what the anxiety may have you believing, you really can help manage, control, and defeat it. Continue reading

  17. BP Complete 120 Ingredients: What’s in the BP Complete 120 Formula?

    Ingredients BP Complete 120When you take your health seriously, you’re not willing to trade one unhealthy condition for another.

    You’re not willing to trade worrisome blood pressure numbers for worrisome blood pressure remedies.

    So instead of jumping blindly on the bandwagon of the next new thing, you do your research. You ask questions.

    We get that. We respect it. Which is why now that we have a new blood pressure support supplement, we want to ask – and answer – your questions before you ever have to.

    What are the BP Complete 120 ingredients? How do they help keep your blood pressure where you want it?

    And what makes the formula so special? Continue reading

  18. 14 Dull Skin Remedies Your Ancestors Used

    remedies dull skinThere are commercials for wrinkle reducers and skin tighteners, but you rarely see dull skin remedies.

    Which doesn’t make sense because wrinkles and sags aren’t the only skin issues you deal with as you age.

    At some point, most people are going to look in the mirror and see something…different. It’s hard to identify what’s changed at first.

    There are no new wrinkles. Nothing’s sagging more. But your skin seems duller. Gray. Flat. It’s not your imagination. Your skin does lose its glow the older you get.

    And that’s why you need dull skin remedies, as well as wrinkle reducers and other anti-aging suggestions.

    Luckily, there are dull skin remedies. Ways to counter the dullness and reclaim your youthful glow. And many of them have been around for centuries… Continue reading

  19. Nutrient-Rich Sweet Treats and Desserts

    rich-nutrientEating empty calories just to sate a sweet tooth is so outdated. But does that mean that you have to give up desserts entirely?

    Not if you follow a few simple guidelines and focus on nutrient-rich sweet treats! Continue reading

  20. BP Complete 120 Benefits: Help Improve Your Blood Pressure in 3 Steps

    Benefits BP Complete 120When we set out to develop our new blood pressure supplement, BP Complete 120, we knew exactly what we wanted the BP Complete 120 benefits to be.

    We wanted natural blood pressure support, based on cutting edge research, with no off-putting or frightening side effects.

    And if we could happen to make the last BP Complete 120 benefit be a tightly focused formula that only uses the best ingredients, well, that would be ideal. Continue reading

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