ACHS Health and Wellness Blog

Help Define ‘Natural,’ or the FDA Will Do it For You

Posted by Dorene Petersen on Feb 13, 2016 10:00:00 AM

You may have heard that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has opened a docket to collect comments from the public on what the term “natural” should mean on food labels.

I was very excited and encouraged when I heard this news. As consumers, I believe we all have the right to define the language used to market our food, and that language should be transparent—using words we can at least pronounce!

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Topics: holistic nutrition

How to Make the Ultimate Herbal Steam

Posted by Amanda Lattin on Feb 3, 2016 11:32:08 AM

As an herbalist and aromatherapist, I get asked more questions about how to support the skin holistically than perhaps any other topic.

In the winter months, we can find ourselves putting our skin on the back burner of our wellness routine. Schedules are hectic, daylight hours are short, and the many holiday feasts can leave our skin (and the rest of us) feeling tired. Not to mention, oftentimes, the winter season holds the unwelcome guests of sinus and chest congestion.

But our skin is important! We meet and greet the world with it every day.

Oftentimes, our skin reflects our inner state, both physically and emotionally. When we support our skin, we are caring for our whole selves as well. Seeing clean, healthy, and bright skin is a boost of encouragement and confidence for your day.

One of my favorite winter season holistic skin supports is an herbal steam. This tool is easy to create and use, and it is beneficial not only for our skin, but also for our mind, spirit, and respiratory system.

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Topics: herbal medicine, DIY, skin care, on-campus classes

How to Create a Meditation Space of Serenity

Posted by Amy Jirsa on Jan 30, 2016 9:30:37 AM

You know, it’s funny. I always considered myself a terrible meditator, which as a yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner, I was loathed to admit. After months of disappointment, I even enrolled myself in a strict and silent 10-day Vipassana retreat.

Needless to say, drastic measures were not the path to peace.

Eventually, I admitted my frustration to my own teacher. She smiled, paused, and asked me to tell her the “right” way to meditate.

So I did: sit in silent stillness for long periods of time without wanting to leap up every two minutes. Again she smiled, paused, looked at me for a long time, and said, “No one makes up the rules; meditation fits itself to the individual, not the individual to the meditation.”

Finally, there it was: I was trying to Meditate, rather than simply meditate. I was getting in my own way.

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Topics: meditation

Why Greece Loves Olive Trees and Oil (And You Will, Too!)

Posted by Dorene Petersen on Jan 11, 2016 3:51:21 PM

I’ve always been a tree hugger. But I do have my favorites, like the beautiful Mediterranean olive tree. There is something about wrapping your arms around an old, weathered olive tree trunk and inhaling the surrounding aromas that provides deep rejuvenation.

Could it be connected to the fact that this ancient, noble tree has been revered throughout history, and has supplied deep meaning to many cultures? Did you know that the oldest fossilized wild olive tree was found in Greece and dates back to 37,000 B.C.?

But the real reason I love this tree is its fruit. Olives and olive oil have extraordinary therapeutic qualities.

So here are a few of the reasons I (and the Greek culture!) love olive trees and the incredible oil they produce:

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Topics: holistic nutrition, study abroad, travel, recipes

5 New Year’s Resolutions for People Who Hate Resolutions

Posted by American College of Healthcare Sciences on Dec 21, 2015 3:26:27 PM

By Renee Long and Lauren Shapiro 

Let’s be honest. How many of us have actually kept a New Year’s resolution? If you’re one of those rare people who have quit smoking or developed a solid workout routine because of a resolution… kudos to you! Please send us your motivational secrets!

Many of us can feel pretty defeated when our resolutions fail by February 1. It can be so disappointing that we may be discouraged from trying to make positive change in the New Year at all.

Our theory: New Year’s resolutions fail because they are unattainable—a year is a very long time—or imply we are “deficient” in one area or another. 

  • I’m not fit enough. My resolution is to lose 20 pounds by 2017.
  • I’m not friendly enough. I need to smile more.
  • I’m not smart enough. I am going to read 25 books in 2016. 

You are not deficient. That’s why we made a list of five New Year’s resolutions for people who hate resolutions. These resolutions are positive, attainable, and designed to help you stay empowered come February 1.

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Topics: happy holidays, mindfulness

35 Holistic Nutrition Terms You Should Know

Posted by American College of Healthcare Sciences on Dec 16, 2015 2:23:39 PM

By Dorene Petersen and Paz Etcheverry

If you’re a holistic nutrition student, a health enthusiast who loves to cook, or simply someone who cares about what you put into your body, it’s important to understand the key vocabulary used in the nutrition science field (you might have noticed a surge in the number of Web articles on how to read a food label … it can be confusing!)

But we know keeping track of all the “terms” can be a daunting task.

  • What exactly does an enzyme do?
  • What’s the difference between fructose and glucose?
  • What the heck is a polysaccharide?

Ah! The terms can really start to pile up. 

We thought a simple cheat sheet might help. And while it’s not comprehensive (there are a LOT of nutrition terms out there), this is a quick list of 35 holistic nutrition terms you should know

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Topics: holistic nutrition

10 Natural Gifts Wellness Warriors Will Love

Posted by American College of Healthcare Sciences on Dec 8, 2015 2:36:13 PM

The holidays can be a hectic time—especially when trying to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. That’s why we created this quick and easy gift list to help you choose the perfect holistic health product for the wellness warrior in your life. Or if you’re the wellness warrior, share this post with your Santa this year to make sure everything on your list is checked off.

Natural, organic, sustainable, and smart, here are 10 natural gifts wellness warriors will love this holiday:

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Topics: apothecary shoppe, happy holidays

All About Adaptogenic Herbs

Posted by Amy Jirsa on Dec 4, 2015 11:57:07 AM

Stress, it seems, is our constant, contemporaneous companion. We’ve become so accustomed to it that (many times) it no longer keeps us from sleeping, from eating, from getting on with our days. A good thing, right? Adaptability!

I’m not so sure about that… Maybe our lifestyles have allowed us to adapt to stress, but at what price? A vicious cycle of sleeplessness from stress at night and loading up with caffeine to keep awake during the day…we can’t quite function with all pistons firing, can we?

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Topics: herbs, herbal remedies, achs students and grads

Natural Love Potions? Neroli and Jasmine Essential Oils

Posted by Dorene Petersen on Nov 30, 2015 11:16:03 AM

As humans, our sense of smell is a crucial element of attraction. 

Smell has a strong bond with memory—it’s why romance films show the forlorn hero smelling the sweater or pillowcase of a long lost lover. Aromas elicit emotional responses.

But are there aromas that stimulate initial, physical attraction in the brain? In other words, is it possible to create a love potion through scent?

Scientists and psychologists are still exploring how our sense of smell affects initial attraction. According to Psychology Today:

“Some researchers think scent could be the hidden cosmological constant in the sexual universe, the missing factor that explains who we end up with. It may even explain why we feel ‘chemistry’—or ‘sparks’ or ‘electricity’—with one person and not with another.”[1]

While we may not know why or how aromas affect attraction just yet, there’s certainly historical evidence for aromas of love or “love potions.” Botanical aromas have been associated with love since antiquity. Orange blossoms (neroli) and jasmine in particular have deep roots in romantic history.

Let’s take a closer look…

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Topics: recipes, Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Spicy and Savory B6 Stuffed Potatoes

Posted by American College of Healthcare Sciences on Nov 24, 2015 11:55:16 AM

The holidays are here! Are you struggling to balance your holistic nutrition with the call of winter comfort food? 

Don’t stress!

And stop scouring magazines and Pinterest for the perfect side dish to bring to your work potluck or family Thanksgiving. We have the recipe for healthy winter comfort food … B6 stuffed potatoes!

Try this healthy and zesty twist on a holiday classic, packed with vitamin B6 to help support your energy levels and mood this winter season.

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Topics: holistic nutrition, holiday recipes, recipes

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