7 Best Supplements For Healthy Living

Why Take Supplements

best supplementsI am getting to the age where I have to think a little more about my overall health. Vitamins are a great way to help my body get the nutrients that I need. I have found the 7 best vitamins for me. I am an average American male with a reasonably healthy diet and lifestyle so I wanted to find the best way to supplement my diet.

There are so many dietary supplements that it gets a little overwhelming when you start to look at what supplements to take. I found what seems to be the best supplements for average healthy people to take.

Vitamin D

The first one I found is Vitamin D. This is probably the most important supplement that you can take because it effects more than 1000 different genes and is essential for hormones like estrogen, human growth hormone and testosterone. Vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that our bodies can make and we make it using sunlight and cholesterol but most of us don’t get enough of it.

Vitamin D Benefits:

  • can help you sleep
  • increased immune system function
  • decreased inflammation
  • helps with calcium metabolism
  • assists with bone formation

Magnesium

Magnesium is almost as important as Vitamin D for overall health. One of the reasons that we don’t get enough magnesium is that most available commercial produce is grown in soil that is deficient in magnesium. Magnesium oil spray is a great way to get your daily dose because it absorbs through your skin and it’s one less pill to take.

Magnesium benefits:

  • helps in reducing stress
  • improves heart health
  • can help prevent headaches
  • good for preventing muscle cramps

Vitamin C

The next one I found is Vitamin C. Everyone knows that Vitamin C is great for when you are sick or stressed but it is also a necessary vitamin supplement to take regularly because most of us don’t get enough from the foods that we eat.

Vitamin C Benefits:

  • helps form collagen and connective tissues
  • helps our bodies make antioxidants
  • enhances immune system function
  • can help prevent free radical damage

 

Vitamin K2

This vitamin is one that I had never heard much about. There is plenty of information about some of the other vitamins but not as much about the K vitamins. There are two types of K vitamins K1 and K2. K1 is found in leafy vegetables like kale and K2 is found in grass-fed animal products like milk or beef.

Vitamin K2 Benefits:

  • helps metabolize calcium
  • helps to prevent heart attacks
  • strengthens bones

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is yet another vitamin that we don’t get enough of unless we are eating lots of liver, hearts or kidneys. I don’t remember the last time I had a good helping of beef heart.

Vitamin A Benefits:

  • helps to form and maintain healthy skin
  • great for your teeth
  • promotes good vision
  • helps build skeletal and soft tissues

 

Vitamin B12 & Folate

This one I have heard quite a bit about because the typical vegan diet doesn’t supply nearly enough vitamin B12 or Folate and carnivores are typically deficient it in as well. B12 is found in many animal products such as meat, fish and dairy.

Vitamin B12 Benefits:

  • increases immune function
  • maintains nerves
  • helps to regenerates cells
  • protects against dementia

Copper

I would never have thought that I even need copper in my body but it turns out that copper is necessary for proper vascular and heart function. You can get this my consuming beef and lamb liver or by taking liver capsules. Copper is also found in dark chocolate, cashews, dark leafy greens and lobster.

Copper Supplement Benefits:

  • helps form red blood cells
  • aids in iron absorption
  • helps keep blood vessels and nerves healthy
  • helps with immune function

Conclusion:

So there you have it our 7 best supplements to take for the average healthy person to stay healthy. We would love to know what supplements you take and why.

How To Quit Sugar For Life

Sugar is the modern drug of our generation!

teamupIt has a bad influence on almost every organ in your body: the liver, gut, pancreas, brain and worst of all – the heart.

Starting from your health, mood and weight loss efforts, sugar is one of our all-time worst enemies. And the sad truth is that most of the people don’t realize the importance of getting this white poison out of their diet.

So because of that, I’m going to give you a full guide on why sugar is bad for you and how to give up on it once and for all. I’ll guide you through every single detail and show you step-by-step how I did it!

And believe me – It was a lifesaving experience!

First of all, let’s get started with what happens when this half glucose and half fructose carbohydrate enters our body:

  • messes up the hormone called leptin, so our body has a hard time recognizing when it’s truly full
  • gets your brain addicted to sugar, by constantly raising the dopamine levels in your body (it has been proven to be as addictive as cocaine and heroin)
  • causes problems with your pancreas – the more sugar you have, the harder your pancreas has to work
  • leads to diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease
  • causes obesity – 1 out of 3 people in America is obese

But why did sugar suddenly became so bad for us, when people have been consuming it since forever?

And the truth is this simple:

Nowadays, sugar is added in almost every product on the market!

The sad statistic is that 80% of all the food items in America contain added sugar.

Food manufacturers add it to products you can never think of, because it makes every food taste better – and tasty food sells.

Because of the toxic reaction it causes in our body, they use many different names in order to hide it, so it gets trickier to avoid it.

So yes, sugar is one sweet killer, and by getting rid of it you’ll get many of the following benefits:

  • Lose weight
  • Get fit
  • Improve your sleep
  • Wake up with more energy
  • Build a better immune system
  • Stop craving bad foods
  • Feel energized instead of tired
  • Get smoother and healthier skin

 

How To Quit The Sugar Addiction

I live a life without sugar for almost a year now and I’ve never felt so good in my life! I went from being a real sugar junkie, to quitting sugar in just 2 weeks. And I managed to do that with “The Team-Up Technique”.

The Team-Up Technique: (My Personal Sugar Quitting Formula)

I came up with “The Team-Up Technique” when I first decided to give up sugar for life. I was looking for “sugar quitting” programs but I couldn’t find one that was free or that worked for me, at the time.

After few months of struggling with my sugar addiction, I came up with an idea – to make my own sugar quitting technique. After learning everything about my enemy, I started getting ideas on how to make it easier. Since I’ve studied psychology, I came up with a great method – support and teaming up!

So I finally started with my sugar quitting journey together with my boyfriend and surprisingly for both of us – IT WORKED!

We managed to quit sugar in just 2 weeks!

Despite our bad sugar cravings and horrible soda addiction, we managed to keep it up and lower our sugar intake from 130 grams to 5. Today we live happy and healthy lives without ANY sugar.

Since then, “The Team-Up Technique” has helped many people with their struggle of sugar cravings, and my main mission is to help as many people as I can to a better life!

Getting this white toxin out of my diet was the best thing that happened to me.

Yes, it takes patience and a lot of giving up to change yourself, but once you set your mind that you can do it, you’re halfway there. Just believe in yourself, because your body can do almost anything – it’s the mind that needs an extra push 🙂

Monica May owns fitgirlsdiary.com and writes about health and fitness.

What is the Paleo Diet all About?

The Paleo Diet History

There are so many healthy lifestyle diet choices available today that it is easy to get confused about what all the different diets are. There are vegan diets, vegetarian diets, flexitarian diets and the paleo diets, just to name a few.

This article will cover the basics of the paleolithic diet also known as the Paleo Diet, or the Caveman Diet. A Paleo diet is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans. This consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit. The Paleo Diet also excludes dairy or grain products and processed food (which should be a no-brainer for any healthy diet).

The idea of a paleolithic diet was developed first in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin. The paleolithic idea was later developed by Stanley Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner, and popularized by Loren Cordain in his book called The Paleo Diet.

Get this cookbook with over 470 recipes and a 10-week meal plan!

We have been experimenting with the Bulletproof diet which is basically a paleolithic diet with a coffee kicker. The results have been interesting. I have felt stronger a bit more energetic and more focused that normal.

How to Start a Paleo Diet

The easiest way to start any diet is to know what it is about, what you can and can’t eat and the philosophy behind it.

Eat This

Basically a paleolithic diet is high in fats, moderate in protein from animals and moderate to low in carbs. High quality saturated fats like butter from grass-fed cows and coconut oil are a big part of this diet as are high protein and high quality meats like grass-fed beef, pastured pork, quality poultry, eggs and organ meats as well as fish and shellfish.

An equally important part of this diet is the generous amount of raw and cooked vegetables either fresh or frozen that can be consumed. A smaller amount of fruits and nuts is recommended as well.

Don’t Eat This

Cereal grains such as wheat, barley, corn, rye, oats and brown rice are not part of the diet and legumes such as soy, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans,  peanuts and black eyed peas are forbidden. Most oils are not allowed in this diet with the exception of olive oil and avocado oil.

Added sugar like that found in soft drinks, candy and juices are to be avoided as well as most dairy products other than healthy butter.

Paleo Behavior

Another part of a successful diet is the adaptation of the lifestyle that the diet is based on. The paleo diet has some lifestyle guidelines that you should really incorporate if you want to succeed with this diet.

The behaviors for this diet are pretty straightforward.

  • Eat when you are hungry
  • Avoid stress
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Exercise, but not too much
  • Play in the sun

Overall this is a very healthy, balanced way to eat and live. Probably the hardest thing to get used to on this diet if you are switching from being a SAD (standard American diet) eater, is the elimination of grains. We love our wheat! I found that reading the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis was very motivational in my pursuit of eliminating wheat from my diet. Fascinating read!

If you like guidance with your lifestyle changes and decide that the Paleo Diet is for you then the Paleo Cookbook is a great way to go.

 

Bulletproof Coffee Experiment

New Experiment With Bulletproof Coffee

I just read the Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey  and learned a ton about nutrition and some of the food myths that we have been told for years. Basically this diet is about eating lots of good fat which used to be thought of as bad fats, add in some protein and a few carbs. Butter, red meat and lots of veggies and of course coffee.

The drink that Dave Asprey developed is called Bulletproof Coffee and is a combination of coffee, butter from grass-fed cows and either coconut oil or a coconut extract called MCT which stands for medium-chain triglycerides.

This bulletproof coffee isn’t any ordinary coffee. Much of the big commercial coffee has mold and toxins in it and this can cause a drop in energy and mental clarity after the initial caffeine boost. Bulletproof coffee is a high quality lab-tested product that has no mold and therefore is not inflammatory and doesn’t give you that crash feeling after a couple of hours.

I have never been a fan of cream in my coffee but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this combination of coffee, grass-fed butter and coconut oil tasted really good. I end up adding some cocoa powder to my drink because I like the chocolate flavor.

Eat Your Fat

I have been told for years by all the nutrition experts that I should limit my intake of fats, especially saturated fats like the ones found in butter if I want to be healthy. Saturated fats are supposed to be a key factor in causing heart disease so you can imagine my surprise when I read this book and was told that the main ingredient in the Bulletproof diet is saturated fat.

It turns out that saturated fat is a necessary element in producing hormones, stimulating the production of bile and building your cell walls. Seems like a pretty important part of a diet to me.

The Joys of Butter

I have always liked the taste of butter but I now know that all butter is not the same. Just like any animal product, the quality of butter depends on the health and wellness of the cow that it comes from. It seems obvious that if you eat butter from a sick cow the butter will have elements of the illness in it. This is why you should only eat butter and any animal product from healthy animals.

Cows only eat grass. If they eat anything else like grains or gummy bears they get sick. Grains and gummy bears are cheaper feed for the cattle and get them nice and fat so that has become the industry standard for cattle feed. Cattle ranchers will give the sick cattle antibiotics to keep them alive and of course the antibiotics are passed into the milk and respectively into the yummy dairy products like cream, butter and yogurt. This is why it is important to only consume grass-fed cow products.

Toxins in Our Food

One of the main concepts of this bulletproof coffee diet is that many of the foods that are commercially available today have molds and toxins in them. These toxins cause inflammation in our bodies which make our immune systems overworked and keep us tired and ineffective. The toxins also get into our brains and slow down the brain functions so you get a foggy feeling.

When you clear your diet of moldy and toxin filled foods you get a huge boost of energy and mental clarity as well as a boost in fat burning. This is the main reason that I am experimenting with the Bulletproof Diet. I would love to feel clear and have more energy every day.

There is much more to this diet than I can cover in a single article and the book has a lot of great information on the science of food and the way your body reacts to what is put in it.

I would love to hear what you think about the Bulletproof Diet and will keep you up to date on my progress.

Side Effects of Body Cleansing

Side Effects of Body Cleansing

Cleansing is generally agreed upon to be a good thing in the natural health world. There are several types of cleanses. Internal cleanses usually consists of activities such as fasting, juicing, limiting your diet (only fruits and veggies) and specific organ cleansing (liver, intestines, gall bladder). External cleansing can be skin treatments like salt or sugar scrubs, salt baths or dry skin brushing.

However there can be side effects of body cleansing. We do regular cleanses and every time I experience some side effects. When I first started doing cleansing I used some natural products that help with the cleansing process and now I mostly do juice cleansing because that works well for me. The side effects from cleansing are more mild as you do it more often.

Our friend Cindy gave us some great feedback with this comment on our Facebook page.

I have been doing a lot of the cleanses you have posted about. You should let people know that if they break out in a skin rash after doing a cleanse, it is probably not any kind of allergic reaction, but an outlet for toxins. I have had an ear infection come out through my mouth after doing the coconut mouth cleanse, which I have continued daily. When first started the body brushing and using your scrubs, I got a rash on my back that lasted for about a week. I spoke with my doctor about it, and he believes that these rashes ARE caused from the detoxing and it’s the poison’s releasing through my skin. He told me to keep it up and let him know how it goes, he may start recommending some of your ideas to his patients. I just want to say thanks! Your website has really opened my eyes!

Comment paraphrased for length see the full comment here.

Post by Cynthia Freeman.

Cindy make some great points. These are some things everyone should know before they do a cleanse. Cleansing removes toxins from your body, this can happen in a number of ways. It can appear as a rash like it did with Cindy. I get headaches for the first day or two. The releasing of toxins is not usually a pleasant experience but the result is worth it. It’s like exercising; you get good results but it can be painful at first.

Here are some common side effects of body cleansing:

  • Skin rashes
  • Unusual perspiring
  • Sinus drainage
  • Headaches
  • Excessive ear wax
  • White tongue coating
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loose stools

Everyone’s body is different. Some people experience no side effects of body cleansing and some experience many. The degree to how many side effects that you experience is usually based on how toxic your body is. If your lifestyle consists of generally unhealthy foods and little exercise then you will likely experience many of these symptoms. When you live a healthy lifestyle your body is cleansing itself on a more regular basis. When you exercise, you sweat which helps to cleanse toxins from your body.

Some side effects will be different depending on what type of cleanse you do. Cindy found that the coconut pulling cleanse pulled toxins from her sinuses and release through her mouth. Skin cleansing with salt scrubs showed up as rashes. Body cleansing results in headaches for me.

One of the best ways to minimize the effects of the toxic waste leaving your body is to drink plenty of water. Always keep a container of water nearby. You can set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to take a drink. I forget to drink water when I am working and this is the last thing you want to forget about while doing a cleanse. Adding cucumber, lemon or mint to your water makes drinking water more enjoyable and can help to replenish some nutrients easily. Other activities that help are walking, salt baths, saunas (be sure to drink more water) and mild exercise.

If you have never done a cleanse before it would be wise to consult your doctor before starting one.

We would love to hear your experiences with body cleansing. Please leave your comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.

Red Wine Health Benefits

Red Wine For Your Health

We like wine. Our favorite is dry red wine and there are so many to choose from and there are many red wine health benefits. Lately we have been enjoying the Shiraz (rhymes with pizazz) which is made from the same grape variety as Syrah. (Syrah is the European version) The Shiraz that we are enjoying has some black currant and spicy flavors.

We like Merlot (despite the movie Sideways) for its mellow taste and less tannic qualities. Cabernet Sauvignon is a nice big red with lots of tannins. Malbec is a wine we were introduce to a few years back and have grown to adore for its fruity almost jam like quality and its spicy flavors. Pinot Noir is an occasional purchase for us because it is a little softer and fruitier that some bigger wines. Zinfandel is nice and zesty.

We also drink wine for the health benefits as well as the flavors.

Red Wine Health Benefits

Most of you know that red wine has some health benefits from the antioxidants. I just found a great article about some of the other benefits of red wine that have been documented in studies. The article is written by Mike Geary who is an author and certified nutrition specialist.

The study that is cited shows that when you drink a couple of glasses of red wine each day (not a bottle!) the good bacteria in your gut increases and the bad bacteria decreases. The study also reveals how drinking red wine can lower blood pressure and decrease overall inflammation in your body.

Read the full article here..

Red wine is of course only one of many parts of a healthy diet and too much of a good thing is usually a bad thing. One or two glasses 4 or 5 times a week is plenty. We mostly have a glass of red wine in the evening either with or after a meal.

Learn More!

 


Photo by Lourdes Cardenal

Meditation Benefits

Morning Meditation Benefits

We have recently started a morning meditation practice. One of the most effective things for us to do to maintain our happy healthy lifestyle is to meditate. I have noticed that one of the biggest results for me is that when I meditate it is like a reset for my mind. I get to put everything on hold for a few minutes and be calm.

What is Meditation?

According to Wikipedia: “Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself.”

A lot of people say “I can’t just sit I have to move I have to be doing something”. There are meditations for people like this.  Moving meditations like Tai Chi or  walking or cooking. Anything you do can be a meditation with the right mindset. One of the benefits of learning a martial art is the practice of centering the mind which is the goal of meditation.

There are some great Zen stories that illustrate the purpose of meditation and the application of meditation into daily life. This is one of my favorites about two Zen monks from the book Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”

“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

This story illustrates the value of being present which for me is the point of meditation.

What are the Benefits of Meditation?

There are so many meditation benefits that it can be overwhelming so here is the Happy Healthy list of 20 meditation benefits.

  1. It lowers oxygen consumption.
  2. It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
  3. Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
  4. Reduces high blood pressure.
  5. Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
  6. Enhances the immune system.
  7. Helps with weight loss
  8. Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
  9. Decreases the aging process.
  10. Cures headaches & migraines
  11. Normalizes to your ideal weight
  12. Builds self-confidence
  13. Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behavior
  14. Helps control thoughts
  15. Helps with focus and concentration
  16. Increases emotional stability
  17. Increases productivity
  18. Develops will power
  19. Helps you to react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event
  20. Requires less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia

How to Start With a Meditation Practice

There are many different techniques for meditating and here are some that have worked for me.

Focus on the breath:

This is the most basic method. Just focus on the breath. Your breathing is more complex than you might think. Since breathing is an involuntary act you don’t really think about it unless you don’t have it. The focus here is what your body does with the air that you bring in. Feel the air traveling in through your nose, feel how your body feels when your lungs expand to take in the air. Be aware.

Count your breaths:

This works for me when I am very distracted. Just count. I don’t pay attention to the breath so much with this method but I have to keep counting. The counting keeps my mind working and focusing on the count. Counting down is an effective way to do this as well. Start with 100 and count down to zero. When you get to zero and want more time then start at 40 or 50.

 Use a mantra:

A mantra is a phrase that is repeated throughout your meditation. This technique gives you words to focus on and in turn helps to relax the mind. Some common mantras come from the ancient Sanskrit language, you may have heard some of these.

  • Om
  • Om Namah Shivaya
  • Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
  • Shanti Mantra
    Om Saha Naavavatu
    Saha Nau Bhunaktu
    Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
    Tejasvi Aavadheetamastu Maa Vidvishaavahai Om

I will use these sometimes but I like the more modern mantras or ones that mean something to me. I will use the words Peace or Love. Sometimes I use a phrase like “Change my thoughts, change the world”.

Have an external object to focus on:

  • A candle can be useful as something to focus on.
  • A picture of someone or something that personifies the meditation goal that you have.
  • A religious icon of some sort like Shiva or Buddah.

These are just a few of the techniques used for meditation.

Who Meditates

One common practice that successful people have is to incorporate meditation into their daily lives. From musicians and actors like Paul McCartney and Russell Brand to business leaders like Rupert Murdock and Oprah Winfrey a meditation practice seems to be a key element in successful peoples lives.

Take a few minutes and give it a try. I would love to hear your meditation experiences. Please leave your comments below.

 


Pagan meditation2” by Dedda71Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

10 High-Fat Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy

Healthy High-fat Foods

Healthy high-fat foods do exist. High fat foods have been given a bad name but not all foods with a high fat content are bad for you. As I’m sure you know there are good fats and bad fats. Kris Gunners wrote a great article on this topic. Kris lists 10 high-fat foods that are super healthy and explains why.

Ever since fat was demonized, people started eating more sugar, refined carbs and processed foods instead. As a result, the entire world has become fatter and sicker.

Bottom Line: Avocados are a fruit, with fat at 77% of calories. They are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, and have been shown to have major benefits for cardiovascular health.

Cheese, like other high-fat dairy products, also contains powerful fatty acids that have been linked to all sorts of benefits, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: Cheese is incredibly nutritious, and a single slice contains a similar amount of nutrients as a glass of milk. It is a great source of vitamins, minerals, quality proteins and healthy fats.

Many healthy and nutritious foods were unfairly demonized for being high in fat. Here are 10 high-fat foods that are actually incredibly healthy.

 

Found at 10 High-Fat Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy

This article discusses the following 10 high-fat foods:

Each of these foods have some great health benefits. The animal products such as butter, cheese and fish should be taken in moderation.

Avocados have a fat content of 77% but they are great for your heart and cardiovascular system.

Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein and I have to admit I love my cheese. I could not be totally vegan because of the cheese. That said there are some people that have adverse reactions to the casein protein that is found in milk products like cheese. If you are interested in a great study regarding casein you should read The China Study.

Dark Chocolate has some great antioxidant properties and contains iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.

Whole eggs used to be considered bad for you because of the high fat and cholesterol in them but recently there are studies that show that the cholesterol doesn’t affect blood cholesterol. Eggs are high in protein. I like to get local farm fresh eggs just so I know how the chickens are treated.

Fatty fish like salmon have omega-3 fatty acids and are great for lowering your risk of heart disease.

Nuts have healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E and magnesium and are great for snacking and adding to meals.

Organic butter from grass-fed cows is almost pure fat. The key to healthy butter is that you make sure you buy butter from grass-fed animals and don’t overdo it.

Extra virgin olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet which has been found to help reduce risk for heart disease, depression, and dementia.

Coconut products are amazing for your health. We use coconut oil to cook with and as an ingredient in lots of our food. I use it for my teeth, just swish it around for a few minutes and it does wonders for your teeth and mouth.

There you have it. Fatty foods that you can eat and feel good about.

Happy Healthy Henna Hair

Henna Hair Color

Being the managing partner at Happy Healthy Living has been very rewarding  and looking happy and healthy is part of the adventure, that’s why I like henna hair color.

Before Henna

before henna

It all started last Hallowed Eve when I was throwing together some kind of costume for John & Cynthia’s bash. I was low on funds so I went and bought a very inexpensive long red hair wig. That evening at the party several of my good friends said that my hair should be that color.

I looked back at the posts of pictures and really liked seeing my hair red like that. I had been thinking seriously about going natural, I had been bleaching and putting chemicals in my hair for decades. Not the healthiest choice for sure, especially for a cancer survivor! There are chemicals in hair dyes that have proven to promote cancer. My hair before henna hair color was always up because it was unhealthy looking when I wore it down.

Then came the decision to stop using chemicals in my hair, it wasn’t overnight that is for sure. It’s funny how vanity plays a part in your decisions. I had never researched what hair dyes were doing to me as I happily plunked down into the salon chairs and spent a few hours looking and probably smelling like an alien! I didn’t really want to lose my young appearance (forever 49) by just letting the white hair show so I did research on Henna and made the jump to being a red head. It’s not just a stamped on color from a box either, the henna blends with my hair naturally giving me depth, highlights and my own personal hue of red and as my hair comes in more gray/white my hair takes on a beautiful highlighted look.

Henna Science

First I did some research and found out a lot about Henna and its benefits. Henna has been around thousands and thousands of years. It is a small flowering tree or bush and its Latin name is Lawsonia inermis. For over 6,000 years Henna has been used to dye hair.

This little bush or tree was used in ancient Egypt on the hair of mummies. The history of henna touched all humanities timeline going in and out of style. Famous painters in the 1800s painted their maidens with long flowing red hair. Closer to our times in the 50s the famous Lucille Ball was all a fire with her red locks. The 60s brought a interest in eastern culture and henna and Mehndi was popular with the young generation. Traditionally it has been used in ceremonies, healing arts and celebrations. Its health properties are not to be over looked either.

I found Henna Hair Color actually changes your hair when its applied. Unlike chemical dyes that can strip you hair like a bleach which makes it weaker, henna actually penetrates the hair and binds with the keratin (protein) gives it strength. I have also read other medical studies on the benefits of lawsonia inermis. I made a little drawing of how the henna works on a strand of hair, elementary for sure but it gives you an idea.

After Henna

Being red makes me extremely happy, it has changed my outlook most definitely. The joy I have from going red has made me very grateful. I am grateful for the lovely compliments I receive almost daily on the color of my hair. The health of my scalp and the strength of my hair is changing too and confidence seems to be rising in me as my hair is a shiny red now.

I feel more grounded and yes hippie comes to mind. My family and friends joke about my hippie ways but it resonates and reinstates me with me. I feel joy, happiness, beauty, love, abundance, grounded and healthy! I want to share what this has done for me and encourage you to make steps towards your  Happy Healthy Living too!

Here are the steps I took:

Gathered Ingredients

  • 2-100 ml boxes of Pure Henna (Depending on your hair length) Mine is a bit past my shoulders
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (organic)
  • 1/2 fresh juiced pineapple (organic)
  • 4 bags of Orange Vanilla Cream Rooibos organic tea
  • Warm filtered water approximately 2 cups
  • gloves
  • plastic bag or cap
  • knit beanie hat
  • old towel
  • news paper for your floor
  • bottle of inexpensive conditioner

Directions:

First I gathered my hair from a brush, a good size ball. I did a test batch and dyed that ball of hair to see what it would do. This part should not be skipped! You should always do this a week before and watch the ball of hair oxidize to see if the color is what you are wanting. There is no going back, henna is permanent as you see from the diagram above your hair protein actually changes.

Get Natural Henna Here!

Depending on the henna hair color you choose you don’t have to mix in all the extra ingredients. I had fun choosing mine and was very pleased with the result. I warmed the water and steeped the tea, mixed all the ingredients into a paste like consistency in a glass bowl and covered it. I found a warm place to set it over night to let the dye be released. The paste will be darker in color and you will see a red tint. You then give it a stir when you are ready to apply.henna paste

This will make a mess! For my first application I had my boyfriend apply it to my hair so there wouldn’t be any missed spots. We started from the bottom and worked to the ends of my hair covering each section with a heavy layer of paste and gently massaged it into each section. I piled it all on top of my head and put a plastic cap on then a trusty knit black hat. I went to bed and slept for a good 8 hours – by then the henna had been in my hair for about 10-11 hours.

I had read in other posts that a cheap bottle of conditioner really helps with washing out the henna. I found that to be true. That was definitely a helpful hint. I don’t need to use conditioner anymore unless I am putting henna throughout my whole head of hair, but when just doing the roots a nice long warm but tepid rinse works fine for my hair.

Long Term Henna Resultshenna red hair color

My hair is in much better condition now one year later. The color my hair has become is a lush deep red, with highlights of brighter reds probably from the gray and white hair. There really isn’t fading with henna, the sun will lighten the color though. l have seen faded red heads before from chemical hair dyes and it’s not attractive. Its been a year since my first application of henna and my hair has never faded or looked dull. I have happy, healthy and shiny henna hair now. Thank you for checking this out and I hope it was helpful.

I would love to hear what you think about henna hair color.