About Tracey Edmonds

Tracey Edmonds is a mother of two, television/film producer, and health/wellness advocate who seeks to empower others with a combination of pertinent, enlightening, and inspirational information. She practices yoga, daily meditation and believes in self-cultivating wellness at every level: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Tracey is the editor of Alrightnow.com and can be contacted at [email protected]

Five Reasons You Need Coconut Oil In Your Diet

In a world filled with greasy foods, oil is something we've had to learn to avoid. Even though it's delicious and makes everything go down easier, it's generally quite unhealthy. That's because oil is – in one form or another – almost entirely fat. With consumers' growing ever more health conscious, the demand for “healthy” oils has skyrocketed. While any type of oil is inherently a very rich food, dense with fats and loaded with calories, it is an integral part of cuisine and can be easily integrated into a healthy diet. These days you can find everything from avocado oil to walnut oil with quite a few options in between. Yet of all these increasingly popular “alternative” oils, none has made such a large impact as coconut oil.   How Coconut Oil Is One Of Our Most Potent Superfoods Few foods can claim to have as many uses or health benefits of coconut oil. Whether you want to eat it by the spoonful, incorporate it into recipes, use it as a cooking oil, use it as a topical solution, or even using it to clean your teeth, the potential health benefits of coconut oil seem virtually endless! While using coconut oil in any form can be great for your body, the best way to reap the benefits are to just eat some raw everyday. It's delicious!   1. Coconut Oil Can Improve Thyroid Health Coconut oil can be a good replacement for corn or soybean oil, which have been linked to thyroid issues. Not only does coconut oil allow you to avoid these potentially problem causing oils, it also has its own benefits for your thyroid health. Diseases of the thyroid such as hypo- and hyper-thyroidism are associated with inflammation, which coconut oil has been shown to help reduce. Coconut oil's antibacterial properties can also reduce stress from microorganisms that can lead to thyroid issues.   2. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Weight Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for less healthy oils, which can be great if you're on a diet and looking to cut calories (and especially fats.) However, coconut oil doesn't stop there. Coconut oil is composed largely of compounds known as Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs.) Research has shown that consuming MCTs helps the body burn fat and lose weight more efficiently.   3. Coconut Oil Can Keep Your Immune System In Fighting Shape Coconut oil contains a ton of compounds with the potential to help squash harmful microorganisms and give your body's built-in defenses a bit of a boost. Concentrations of lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids, as well as capyrlic and capric acid have been identified as lending coconut oil it's anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. Regularly consuming coconut oil can help keep the immune system up to par and stave off common illnesses like the cold and flu.   4. Cook With Coconut Oil To Avoid Toxins Unlike other forms of cooking oil such as vegetable oils, coconut [...]

2019-01-23T11:52:50-08:00 By |

Three Tomato Tricks That Can Boost Your Health

Tomatoes have always been beset by a culinary quandary, an issue of categorization. As you've probably heard many times, despite keeping the company of vegetables in the produce section, tomatoes are technically a fruit. More surprising than this case of mistaken identity is that tomatoes are one of – if not the – healthiest fruits around. You probably already have tomatoes in your diet somewhere. As one of the most popular food items in Western cuisine, it'd be more surprising to find someone who doesn't eat tomatoes at least a few times a week. Whether it snuck its way into a sauce, soup, or salad, there's a good chance you've had a tomato or two within the last few days. So whats all the hullabaloo about tomatoes, anyway? What makes them so great? Why are they seemingly everywhere?   The Tomatoes' Ties To Healthy Living It's not uncommon to find that some of our most popular foodstuffs come with benefits to your health. Every time you come across food facts about a common part of your diet, it's important to ask if you are really consuming enough of that food – and in the right preparation – to experience any of those benefits. With tomatoes, this can be a tricky question. Raw tomatoes are great in a salad, but should actually be consumed sparingly. This is because tomatoes – a member of the nightshade family – contain compounds known as lectins. While lectins occur naturally in many plants, they have some nasty side-effects in the human body which have led some experts to label them “anti-nutrients.” Because of this, it's generally recommended that you limit your consumption of foods high in lectins to minimize your exposure. Hang on, though. Don't go tossing out those tomatoes just yet. While it's good to limit your consumption of raw tomatoes, cooked tomatoes are a different story. Cooking tomatoes not only reduces their lectin content, but it also helps free up beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals to be better absorbed in your body. Research has also suggested that absorption of beneficial compounds in tomatoes can be increased by adding a healthy source of fat, such as olive oil. Interestingly, tomatoes seem to be a big exception to rule that cooking foods reduces their potential benefits. It's just the opposite! So if you've cooked your tomatoes up, just how can they help your health?   1. Tomatoes Are High In An Amazing Compound Called Lycopene Lycopene is one of those thing few of us are familiar. Despite that, it's probably hard at work in your body right now. A phytochemical found in red fruits and vegetables, lycopene has been associated with a ton of health benefits. Here are just a few of them:   Essential for healthy bones Powerful antioxidant Has the potential to reduce risk of stroke Shown potential in helping treat lung cancer Has a beneficial effect on gut bacteria and increases the effect of probiotics     2. [...]

2019-01-23T13:40:34-08:00 By |

Three Reasons to Eat Strawberries Everyday

We're all familiar with strawberries. Blended into smoothies, served as a refreshing snack or as a delicious treat incorporated into your dessert, there are many ways to enjoy the strawberry. But there is more to the strawberry than just a sweet treat. Many different species of wild strawberries grow naturally on several continents. Historians have traced humanity's relationship with the strawberry as far back as ancient Roman literature, where the strawberry is referenced for its medicinal properties. This reputation as a folk medicine has carried on all the way down to today. These days, the sort of strawberry you find at the supermarket or plant in your garden is a bit different from the wild varieties which the Europeans of antiquity would have harvested from forests and groves. Modern strawberries are highly cultivated. The most common “garden strawberries” we encounter today are a cross between two species of wild strawberries native to South America. Though we have changed the strawberry a bit, modern research is revealing that those ancient Romans may have been onto something when they regarded the strawberry as a tool of medicine.   What A Few Delicious Strawberries Do For Your Body In the modern diet, strawberries – as healthy as they are – are commonly found incorporated into something that is in no way a health food. Dipped in milk chocolate or caramel, covered in whipped cream, made into jam, added to cakes or ice cream. These might be delicious, but they are all basically dessert. The strawberries are doing their best to improve your health, but they just can't compete when they're covered in unhealthy junk! If you want to get the health benefits of strawberries, try just eating some without adding anything! You can also incorporate them into a healthy snack or meal like granola, cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or fruit salad. Don't fool yourself into thinking that milk chocolate covered strawberry is healthy! So what might you look forward to if you incorporate a healthy dose of strawberries into your daily diet?    1. All The Benefits Of Berries Berries are a well-known super food. Strawberries are no exception. Rich in vitamins, natural sugars, plant fiber, as well as packing tons of trace elements and phytochemicals, berries are a potent source of nutrition loaded with compounds that can be beneficial for the entire body. One of the top dietary sources of important bioactive compounds such as resveratrol, flavonols, anthocyanins, and elleagic acid, strawberries and other berries have been associated with a huge array of health benefits. Some of these include reducing inflammation, acting as powerful antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress throughout the brain and body, improving cardiovascular health, helping prevent damage to the eyes, and even reducing the risk of certain cancers. Plus, they're tasty.   2. Your Brain Loves Strawberries Strawberries are the most potent dietary source of a compound called fisetin. This is an antioxidant and flavonoid which has shown a lot of promise. Fisetin has been [...]

2019-01-23T13:49:25-08:00 By |

Three Cool Cucumber Curiosities That Can Contribute To Your Health

Cucumbers. You can put them in your salad or on your face. But where do they fit into your everyday health routine? There are a lot of things about cucumbers you're probably unaware of. Including their impressive profile as a health food. One little known fact about cucumbers is that they're not a vegetable. They're actually a fruit. You can have that fact for free. For the rest, you'll have to keep reading as we explore just why and how cucumbers can improve your everyday health.   Can Cucumbers Really Help You Lead A Healthier, Longer Life? Cucumbers are a welcome addition to many salads, but few of us look at them as something almost medicinal as well. It's easy to see why cucumbers are such a popular food. They are extremely nutritious with very few calories. A cucumber offers high amounts of vitamins C and K, as well as a respectable helping of potassium, magnesium, and manganese. They also prove to be an excellent source of dietary fiber. We already know that cucumbers are a champion as a foodstuff, though. Since they're mostly water – about 96% – they're great as a diet food. But since they're also full of nutrition, they can earn their place on anybody's plate. If we leave the strict confines of things that might be listed on your nutritional facts label behind, we start to find a variety of previously untold benefits to cucumber consumption. Let's look at three of them.   1. Cucumbers Help Control Blood Sugar In this age of easy access to carbohydrate rich foods, its way too easy to consume vast quantities of sugar. High blood sugar levels can damage the body in all sorts of ways and eventually leads to diabetes. Animals studies have demonstrated that cucumber is capable of reducing blood sugar levels and helping maintain a healthy blood sugar level. In an experiment performed on diabetic mice, a cucumber peel extract was shown to be effective at combating changes associated with diabetes and decreasing blood sugar levels.   2. Cucumbers Help Reduce Cancer Risk Cucumbers are a good source of compounds known as lignans. Lignans are a type of polyphenol which act as hormones in plants. They are common in the diet and while previously not given much attention, they have recently been a focus of study for their ability to fight cancers associated with hormones such as uterine, breast, prostate, and ovarian. Not only does cucumber a good source of these lignans, it contains another host of potentially anti-cancer compounds called cucurbitacins. Cucurbitacins are a type of phytonutrient. They have been identified as being useful for their potenital to disrupt the process of cancer cell development and could be a useful tool in fighting many types of cancer.   3. Cucumbers Help Fight Inflammation Research suggests that cucumbers inhibit key enzymes which promote inflammation in the body. Inflammation is associated with a number of chronic conditions and is a major contributor [...]

2019-01-23T13:59:05-08:00 By |

Three Eggciting Facts About A Favorite Breakfast Food

It's easy to be a little confused by the history of the egg. At first it was praised as a health food. Then an incomplete picture of how cholesterol works led many to condemn the egg as being quite bad for your heart and cardiovascular health. Now that science has improved, this conclusion has been dramatically reversed. The pendulum has swung back again. Eggs are a health food once more. But this time it is for sure. We know more than ever before about what eggs can do for your health. Let's take a look at some intriguing egg facts.   Knocking Down Egg Myths Before we get into the data that demonstrates how great eggs are for your health, let's dispense with one of the more prevalent myths about the egg. Early nutritionists' recognized that nearly half the calories from eggs come from the fat in the yolk. Contained within this fat are high levels of cholesterol. While today we understand the body's relationship with cholesterol to be a complicated one including multiple forms of cholesterol and different manners of processing it, these early nutritionists' lacked such a complete picture. As such, the association between high cholesterol and poor cardiovascular health was all they had to go on. Eggs were, for a time, labeled an unhealthy food. Today, research has demonstrated that eggs do not increase levels of “bad” cholesterol. While those managing a condition with a low cholesterol diet may want to avoid eggs, for healthy individuals eggs can be an important source of nutrition with no negative health effects. Don't take our word for it. Studies have shown that you can eat as many as 12 eggs per week without any measurable effect on cholesterol levels. That's almost 2 eggs every day! Now that we've got that out of the way, it's time to take a peek at what eggs can do for your diet.   1. Eggs Are A Truly Exceptional Source of Nutrients It's not hard to see why eggs are such a rich source of nutrition. After all, they have to contain everything needed to nourish a baby chick until it hatches. Eggs are well-known as an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. You might be less aware that eggs contain traces of nearly every single vitamin, mineral, and nutrient your body needs to live. Many of these are just in trace concentrations, but eggs provide a healthy dose of vitamins A, B2, B5, and B12. It's also a great source of the essential mineral nutrient selenium. You find all of this goodness in the yolk, which is packed with nutrients. But don't go throwing out those egg whites, either. Egg white is almost entirely protein and is an excellent way to boost your protein intake.   2. Eggs Help Nourish Your Brain Although it is an essential nutrient, few of us have heard of a compound called choline. Eggs are a rich source of choline. Necessary for [...]

2019-01-23T14:03:45-08:00 By |

Six Reasons Baking Soda Isn’t Just for Cakes

Baking soda is something that can be found in just about every household. Intriguingly enough, what it's doing in those homes can vary quite a bit. You're probably already familiar with baking soda's eponymous role in baking. You might even know of it as an effective cleaning agent. But did you know that baking soda also offers some extremely useful medicinal properties as well? Baking soda is composed of a salt known as sodium bicarbonate. While sodium bicarbonate does occur naturally, it is mostly produced artificially. Ancient Egyptians were familiar with a mineral salt known as natron, which is made from a mixture of sodium carbonate compounds and contains roughly 17% sodium bicarbonate. Though natron was important in antiquity, often being employed as a cleaning agent and an early form of soap, it would take modern chemistry to truly unlock the potential of sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate's history as a consumable begins in the mid-1800s. It started when a British chemist was experimenting with chemical leavening agents in the hopes of assisting his wife's baking efforts. She suffered from a yeast allergy. After discovering sodium bicarbonate's ability to make bread rise with no yeast, it didn't take long for it to be christened “baking” soda and hit the market. While this particular feature was what brought sodium bicarbonate its modern day ubiquity, baking soda rapidly came to be appreciated outside of the kitchen as well.   What Baking Soda Does For The Body Although you probably get a little bit of baking soda in whatever baked goods you eat, it's not exactly part of the diet. Instead of a foodstuff or even a supplement, baking soda's uses in the body are more reminiscent of a medicine. It can be used to help in the treatment of a variety of conditions both minor and severe. It's great to have on-hand to tackle common symptoms that could befall anyone. Let's take a look at six ways to can put baking soda to use to make life a little simpler. 1. Baking Soda Can Calm Heartburn And Indigestion Sodium bicarbonate is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter remedies for heartburn and indigestion. Because it is highly alkaline, it does a great job of neutralizing the acid in your stomach. This acid can be a major contributor to indigestion and ulcer pain, and is the root cause of heartburn. Instead of buying an expensive preparation like Alka-Seltzer, you can make your own at home. Just add a little bit of baking soda to a glass of water and drink it down.   2. Baking Soda Is An Effective Anti-Inflammatory Agent Inflammation is a major source of pain and a contributor to chronic conditions in the body. In experimental trials, researcher's identified baking soda as activating a novel anti-inflammatory pathway in mesothelial cells, which can disperse this effect throughout the body. This has been investigated for its potential to help manage rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases which cause inflammation. [...]

2019-01-23T16:18:38-08:00 By |

13 Incredible Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a practice that can transform your life, from the inside out. Yoga isn’t only a physical workout; it is a holistic practice that strengthens the body, mind, and spirit. If you are considering implementing yoga into your workout routine, these incredible benefits just may convince you to immediately head over to the studio for your first class.   1. Decreases Stress and Anxiety: Stress and anxiety relief is one of the top reasons people keep coming back to their yoga mat. Studies have shown that yoga can help in the decrease of cortisol, which is one of the main stress hormones. If you find that your life is putting an abundance of stress on your mind and body, or causing higher levels of anxiety than you can cope with, yoga may help you work through those feelings.   2. Increases Flexibility: Can’t touch your toes? Yoga can help. As you consistently dedicate yourself to a yoga routine, you will start to notice the changes in your body, and see yourself (literally) reach for new limits.   3. Strengthens and Tones the Body: People may associate yoga with stretching more than strengthening, but the practice requires a lot of body weight muscle work and balancing, which over time tones and builds your muscles.   4. Boosts Metabolism: Yoga has been found to help people improve their metabolism, which, with a dedicated practice, over time can help you lose weight.   5. Improves Posture: Say goodbye to slouchy shoulders. Yoga brings awareness to your body, helping you to keep your shoulders back and head up high.   6. Reduces Pain in the Neck and Back: If chronic pain in your neck or back is affecting your day to day life, yoga can help you stretch and strengthen your way to feeling better and mitigating the pain.   7. Decreases Headache Frequency: People who suffer from routine headaches have found that a consistent yoga practice can help lessen the frequency of headaches.   8. Encourages Better Sleep Quality: Yoga has been frequently studied as a tool for people suffering from sleep issues, including insomnia. If you find yourself unable to turn off your brain when your head hits the pillow, yoga may be the sleep aid you’ve been looking for.   9. Promotes Blood Circulation: Yoga helps to get your heart pumping, and as a result improves your circulation. Twisting poses also help to release oxygenated blood back into your system, and inversions encourage blood flow to your brain.   10. Improves Lung Capacity: Yoga without focused breathing isn’t yoga at all. The focus on breath, or pranayama, in a yoga class (in conjunction with the physical activity) can help to expand the capacity of your lungs.   11. Boosts Memory Function: Yoga can help you keep your brain functioning in top shape. Researchers found that regular yoga practice can improve memory performance.   12. Makes You Happier: A consistent yoga practice leads to an increase in serotonin, which is often referred to as the “happy hormone.” A [...]

2019-01-02T16:34:40-08:00 By |

The Meaning of Namaste

For dedicated yogis, namaste is likely a familiar concept. The term is commonly used to conclude a yoga class, as a way for teachers and students to express gratitude for each other. However, there is much more to namaste than what is presented in class. Beyond the yoga mat, namaste has a rich history and profound spiritual significance, rooted in the recognition of a deep connection between two individuals that is far more intricate than typical Western greetings.     The Definition and Use  Namaste is a spiritually significant ancient Sanskrit greeting and farewell within the Hindu custom. It is used within India, but is also present in other areas of south-east Asia where Hinduism is less prevalent. It is a common, everyday greeting used amongst strangers and friends alike.    In Sanskrit, namas means “bowing” (or “obeisance”) and te means “you.” Therefore, the word roughly translates to “I bow to you.” It represents the recognition of the divine life within the person one is greeting, and serves to diminish the presence of ego within the greeter.      The Spiritual Meaning  Unlike typical Western greetings, namaste has a specific spiritual significance. In addition to the etymology mentioned above, namah can be translated to “not me”, which represents the surrendering of one’s ego in the presence of the individual they are greeting. In Hinduism, namaste represents the idea that “the divine self is the same in you and me.” By saying namaste, along with the gesture, the soul of one person is bowing to and recognizing the divine life force in the person they are greeting.    The Gesture   Namaste is accompanied by a gesture, known as the anjali mudra. To make the gesture, one places their palms together at their chest with their thumbs against their heart, closes their eyes, and slightly bows their head. The gesture, along with the word, represents a recognition of the life force present within everyone with whom we connect.  In Western culture, the word namaste is typically verbalized along with the gesture. However, in India, the gesture itself symbolizes namaste, and does not necessarily need to be spoken along with it.  It is acceptable to do the gesture with or without verbalizing namaste.   The physical gesture is fairly straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind while doing namaste.   First, the eyes should remain closed while doing namaste. This allows for one to see within, rather than being distracted by their physical surroundings, and lets them focus on and recognize the soul of the person they are greeting. Secondly, one’s hands should be completely free of any objects, allowing the palms to lightly touch. Holding an object will prevent the fingers from being completely straight, compromising the position. Lastly, the intention behind doing namaste is just as important as the act of doing it. One should perform namaste with a positive energy, with a true intention of paying obeisance to the soul they are greeting. The spiritual connection [...]

2019-01-07T19:41:50-08:00 By |

9 Amazing Benefits of a Meditation Practice

 A regular meditation practice has incredible, life-changing effects on both the body and mind. In meditation, brainwave patterns move into an alpha state, in which the mind and body become deeply relaxed and enter a space of rest that we don’t often experience. Meditation allows you to turn your focus inward and connect with your inner-self, and turn yourself away from external stimuli. Upon entering this state of heightened awareness, you begin to improve your overall well-being. The benefits you can experience from the practice are plentiful, but these are some of the top advantages of working meditation into your routine.   1. Increases Self-Awareness: It’s rare that we find the time to focus on just ourselves and nothing else, but meditation allows you to do just that. With consistent practice, you will start to know yourself on a deeper, more profound level.   2. Reduces Stress: By taking a moment to turn away from the outside world, you can do the necessary work to let go of stress. In meditation, you can cope with the stress you are currently experiencing, as well as learn to better handle it as it arises in the future.   3. Lowers Anxiety: The link between meditation and anxiety has been studied time and time again. Researchers have found that regular meditation helps people lower their levels of anxiety, and cope with the symptoms.   4. Improves Sleep Quality: Naturally, the reduction of stress and anxiety that comes with meditation, as well as the deep state of relaxation, makes the practice an excellent tool for improving your quality of sleep. Studies have found that those who meditate are able to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer than those who don’t meditate.   5. Decreases Blood Pressure: For those who suffer from high blood pressure, regular meditation can help maintain blood pressure levels. A study found that participants were able to reduce their blood pressure by five points on average with regular meditation.   6. Boosts Immune System: Along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, meditation can help you fight off any sickness that comes your way. The practice has been shown to boost your immune system, making you stronger against illnesses.   7. Helps Control Pain Levels: Sufferers from chronic pain may be able to find some release through meditation, particularly if the pain is tension related. Meditation has been shown to decrease perception of levels of pain, as well as help people cope with it.    8. Increases Energy Levels: If you are looking to get an energy boost without another cup of coffee, meditation may be your answer. When you enter a deep restorative and relaxing state in meditation, you are able to come out with more energy and focus.   9. Improves Mood: Meditation has been linked to an increase of serotonin, which is referred to as the “happy hormone.” This means an improvement in your levels of happiness and joy.     Meditation is an incredible form of self-care that improves and maintains the [...]

2019-01-02T15:53:46-08:00 By |